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Miller making most of Tucson homecoming

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November 5, 2016 08:42 PM

By Ricky Martinez, special to USTA.com

TUCSON, ARIZ. – For some, the USTA National Championships in Tucson is a journey to a new place. For Zach Miller of The Olympic Club in San Francisco, it’s a homecoming he could have never imagined.

“It’s a trip. I never thought I’d be back,” said Miller. “There are a lot of things that have changed, but the courts, the weather, and the vibes are still the same. I get to play with a fun group and tennis was such a big part of growing up for me. that Getting to come back and play for a national championship on my high school court is really unexpected, but special nonetheless.”

Miller began his tennis career at University High School in Tucson. He left tennis for 15 years to pursue his degree in law at UCLA, eventually coming home to Tucson to earn his master's degree at the University of Arizona. Miller spent 21 years of his life in Tucson before moving to San Francisco, so being back for him is like being in high school all over again.

“It’s a weird feeling. It’s like 1996 all over again. My mom made cookies like she did back in high school,” said Miller. “I’m glad that they were around and my brother is still here, so they all came out to support. To play in front of my parents has been a joy and its something I never thought I’d get to do again. For them to see me play in a USTA League National Championships is a blast.”

The Olympic Club was founded in 1860, making it the oldest club to be represented this year in Tucson. The Olympic Club built its tennis complex in 1936 and opened it with an exhibition featuring tennis legends Don Budge, Helen Wills Moody and Alice Marble. The Olympic Club hosted a Davis Cup event the following year in which the U.S. team defeated Japan. Over the years, the tennis facility expanded to include six hard and two clay courts.

“Being with all of these guys, and this club that has such a great group of people involved with tennis, made it such an easy transition back into the sport,” said Miller. “There are guys on our team who played collegiately and it has been a real pleasure to be involved with them. The Olympic Club has never won a team national championship, so to have the opportunity to bring one back is really humbling.”

 

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