Chris Farmer was looking for a family tennis experience when he stumbled upon the USTA’s National Family Tennis Championships, a relatively new doubles tournament in which the team members must be related.

So Farmer, 52, and his daughter Sophie, a 16-year-old junior at Eden Prairie, entered a local qualifier in May.

“Our expectations were really just to play together,” Farmer said. “We didn’t look too far ahead.”

The Farmers finished second in the local event, but were selected to play in the regional tournament in Kansas City in July when the winners could not make the trip. They finished second in that tournament, too, good enough to send them on an expenses-paid, four-day trip to New York for the finals. They leave Friday.

In addition to playing at least three matches at John McEnroe’s tennis complex on Randall’s Island, the Farmers won tickets to attend the U.S. Open, which begins Monday in Queens, N.Y.

Farmer said his team’s chances rest largely on his daughter’s shoulders. He doesn’t play tennis as regularly as he once did, he said, but Sophie plays year-round and is No. 1 singles player for the Eden Prairie tennis team.

“Sophie is pretty highly ranked, so she should be as good or better than most of the other girls,” Farmer said. “But some of the other dads are teaching pros who are a lot better than me. I’ll just stay out of the way and let her take over.”

Two Challenge Cup winners

Wayzata and Blake won the 2012-13 Minnesota State High School League Challenge Cup for their respective classes.

Wayzata took top honors in Class 3A, ending Eden Prairie’s five-year run as champion. Blake won in Class 2A for the second consecutive year and fifth time in 10 years. Bethlehem Academy in Faribault won the Class 1A title.

The Challenge Cup determines the most successful overall activities programs statewide. Schools earn points based on team and individual success in section and state tournaments.


• Chaska girls’ basketball forward Kendall Babb has made a verbal commitment to Marist University.

• The Hopkins girls’ tennis team opened its season with three victories en route to the championship of the Roseville Invitational.