| By Kelsey Clark

The New York Athletic Club (NYAC) men’s tennis team recently won its fifth championship during the National Open Team Championships at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas. The tournament benefited the American Cancer Society.

The team, which plays out of the New York Athletic Club in Pelham, N.Y., as well as Manhattan, is captained by Jeffrey Appel and features: Jason Jung, Adam El Mihdawy, Dan Cochrane, Cameron Silverman, Jhonson Garcia and James Cluskey.

“The quality of players Jeff brings elevates the competition,” Susan Johnson Maurer, the National Open Team Championships tournament director said. “He puts a lot of work into this tournament and is very supportive of charity events.”

“Jeff loves tennis, and the fact that his team challenges for a National Championship every year is indicative of that,” Cedric Jones, director of athletics at New York Athletic Club said. “He is a great ambassador for tennis, not only in New York, but also for the club.” 

The NYAC team has won the National Open Team Championship five times in the last six years.

“It feels great to be a part of this accomplishment,” Appel said. “It’s important to prove that strong tennis does exist in New York, and I enjoy keeping those thoughts alive.”

The Eastern Section was well-represented at the tournament, as both teams in the finals hailed from the Section. Harry Walsh, a senior teaching professional at Rye Racquet Club and the head professional at Larchmont Shore Club in the summer, and his team finished in second.

“Our team was made up of all current and former teaching pros,” Walsh said. “We all love tennis, so it was fun for us to play together competitively, even though it was tough playing against a team of touring pros.” 

Appel, who has captained the NYAC team for the past six years, mentors players off of the court as well. He has helped more than 35 young professionals find careers after tennis.

“Jeff has done so much to help our players at Columbia over the years,” Howard Endelman, Columbia University men’s head tennis coach said. “He helps them navigate the transition from being a student-athlete to being part of the professional world after school.”

In addition, Endelman mentioned Appel’s ability to unify people from various backgrounds over their common bond of loving tennis. Jay Berger, USTA head of men’s tennis, also believes Appel’s work in mentoring players is incredible. 

“Jeff has done a great job making connections through tennis,” Berger said. “He has guided so many former professionals to careers in the business world.”




Jeffrey Appel’s team won its fifth championship











Harry Walsh’s team took second place