The National Tennis Club once again played host for The Lieb Cup, deciding the U.S. National Juniors Doubles Championships in three levels. This event is made possible by a generous bequest from John Lieb, a NTC member who succumbed to cancer at a young age, whose gift also has created a vital junior development program at the NTC in the past several years.
Joe Tomaino capably organized this event, as he has the entire junior program, along with Josh Bainton, NTC Head Pro and Assistant Pro, Rich Smith. Thanks are also due to the numerous sponsors for the event covered not only the competition, but also a full range of social events over the three-day weekend.
“Flaming Bananas” Chillie Bernstein and Phoebe Livingston were first up Sunday morning, vying with Nick Mazuroski and Tom Picken for the C Division trophies. Chillie and Phoebe play together regularly, and their knowledge of the court and each other’s game showed as they leapt out to a 5/3 lead in the first set. However, close observers could see Nick and Tom getting better with each match, and they waited just about as long as they could, but took the final three games of the first set, and never looked back, winning an impressive nine games in a row to take the match 6/5, 6/0.
NTC Head Pro Josh Bainton, right, congratulates, from left to right, Nick Mazuroski and Tom Picken, for their come-from-behind victory in the Lieb Cup Doubles C Division final.
The Keefe sisters, Kimmi and Cece, faced Liz Kavney and John Paul Jewell, two former winners of U.S. Junior events. The first set was close, going to the Keefes, but then Kavney and Jewell reeled off an incredible 12 of the next 13 games, to win 5/6, 6/0, 6/1.
2003 Lieb Cup B Division winners John Paul Jewell and Liz Kavney
Two other Flaming Bananas alumni, Pat and Jen Winthrop, met Dylan Aldrich and Frank Curren for the A Division title. Pat and Jen are both former U.S. Junior Singles Champions. This was a “sort of” rematch of the U.S. Junior Singles, which Pat took in two well-contested sets from Frank. And this match was a barnburner! Aldrich, who plays out of NY when he plays at all (“about once a year” he confessed after the match) and Curren dominated the first set, winning easily 6/1. The brother and sister team battled back in set #2, which went to 5-all and was decided in favor of the Winthrops on one of the longest and easily the most exciting point of the championships.
Smiles on the winners’ faces, from left to right, Dylan Aldrich and Frank Curren, as they receive their 2003 Lieb Cup “A” Division trophies from Pro Josh Bainton.
The large crowd on hand erupted into applause and settled in for a third set. Although the third set went back and forth, it broke open for Aldrich and Curren in the seventh game, and they ran it out from there, game/set/championship, 6/1, 5/6, 6/3.
Full list of competitors and final order of finish by division:
1. Dylan Aldrich and Frank Curren (Winners)
2. Pat and Jen Winthrop (Finalists)
3. Dave Hampton and Alex White (last year’s B Division winners)
1. Liz Kavney and John Paul Jewell (Winners)
2. Kimmi and Cece Keefe (Finalists)
3. Hugh Billington and Mary Livingston
1. Nick Mazuroski and Tom Picken (Winners)
2. Chillie Bernstein and Phoebe Livingston (Finalists)
3. Jeff Clooney and Nick Hoagland
article and photos by S. M. Reilly