Coaches Win USTA Championship

Coaches Win USTA Championship

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. - The Franklin & Marshall tennis coaching staff won USTA Gold Balls at the USTA National Indoor Championship held December 26-31, 2009, at the Indoor Tennis Center at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Head coach Sean Kelleher struck gold in the men's open singles division as well as in the men's open doubles division with partner and assistant coach Ben Zink.

Kelleher was unseeded in the tournament which featured a draw of 256 men. Kelleher's dominance shown bright as he dropped just one set in his journey to the finals. In the finals, Kelleher defeated Michael Lampa of Ocean, N.J., 7-6(4); 6-2.

Zink reached the Round of 32 in the men's open singles division, losing a tough match to Derek Difazio of Smithtown, N.Y., 7-5; 7-6(3). Although Zink was surely disappointed, he didn't go home empty handed as he teamed up with his coaching partner Kelleher to take home gold in men's open doubles.

The duo knocked off the No. 2 and No. 8 seeded teams to claim the championship. In the final, the men defeated the team of Brad Goldberg and Clinton DeVries, both of New York, 7-5; 7-6(1).

In August, the duo again teamed up to win a USTA gold ball, this time at the USTA National Grasscourt Championships at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. In addition to their doubles win, they squared-off in the finals of the men's open singles division with Kelleher claiming gold and Zink taking home silver. Kelleher finished 2007 and 2008 as USTA Middle States' No. 1 ranked men's open singles participant. In addition, he and Zink finished 2008 as the section's No. 1 ranked doubles duo in the Men's Open Doubles division.

Winning a USTA Gold ball is the highest honor for competitive amateur tennis players. USTA gold, silver and bronze balls are awarded to the top three finishers of adult and junior USTA sanctioned National Championships (Level 1).

Franklin & Marshall opens its spring season on March 14th when the Diplomats host Philadelphia University.