Anthony Phuong is hoping for a homecoming. He's missed the Atlantic Cup.
Not to be confused with the Atlantic Cup of sailing, soccer, football or rugby, the Atlantic Cup Phuong wants to welcome back to Washington is for tennis. Specifically, this Atlantic Cup is a 20-year-old tourney between LGBT – and their allies – tennis teams from Boston, D.C., New York and, since 2009, Philadelphia.
''We're hoping to bring the cup back home,'' says Phuong, who with his husband, Tom Leistner, is co-captain of this 20th anniversary Atlantic Cup tournament, hitting D.C. Aug. 17 to 19. ''We housed it at Nellie's.''
And his team, D.C.'s Capital Tennis Association, will do so again, if they win. Nellie's Sports Bar is doing its part for the effort, contributing Atlantic Cup T-shirts to all participants, about a hundred, from D.C. as well as the other cities. For now, however, the cup remains with Philadelphia Liberty Tennis Association, who wrested it from CTA in 2011.
Phuong says CTA has a pretty good chance of turning the tables on Philly, though.
''Usually, the home field has the better advantage,'' he reckons. ''If we win, we'll have a little celebration at Nellie's.''
But Phuong doesn't want just the Atlantic Cup back in Washington. He'd also like a little support – beyond what's come from Nellie's.
''Come on out and cheer for D.C.,'' Phuong says, asking that non-playing locals show the home team some love. With play beginning Saturday at 8 a.m. and running though Sunday, at the East Potomac Tennis Center, there will be plenty of opportunity. For those preferring a more social venue, members from all the clubs – CTA, PLTA, New York's Metropolitan Tennis Group and Boston's Tennis 4 All – are expected to be socializing at Nellie's Friday night, Aug. 17, and again on Saturday night.
The East Potomac Tennis Center is at 1090 Ohio Drive, Washington. For more information about Capital Tennis Association, visit capital-tennis.org.