A record number of players participated in the Etchebaster Cup held January 27 through January 29 at the Racquet & Tennis Club, thanks to the enthusiastic promotion of the event by the Tournament Committee lead by Mike Gooding, head tennis pro at the R&T. To make the event further interesting to players with 30+ handicaps, the Tournament Committee added a consolation draw for players who did not win in their first match of the event, guaranteeing all players at least two matches and a chance to compete either for the cup itself or for the first and second prizes in the consolation draw. A large and enthusiastic crowd enjoyed watching the many matches played on both the East and West Courts, especially on Friday evening and Saturday.
Mike Gooding, NY Head Pro, is flanked by finalist Ryan Carey and winner Brook Hazelton.
The finalists for the Etchebaster Cup, Ryan Carey (of Prince’s Court) and Brook Hazelton (playing guest at the R&T last summer), dominated the field winning most matches in two sets and leaving their opponents little quarter. The first set of the finals was very close, with Hazelton beating Carey 6-4 in a very hard fought battle with long rallies and stunningly good play by both finalists. In the second set, Hazelton bested Carey to take the match and the cup 6-0 in play that was much closer than was implied by the score.
The consolation draw had a series of tight matches, each single eight-game sets, ending in a final match between Bill Royan and Tyler Hathaway. Royan overcame an early lead by Hathaway to tie the set at 6-6 and then took the next two games to win the set and first prize in the consolation draw, 8-6.
The success of this year’s Etchebaster Cup was helped in no small part to the excellent marking skills of Mike Gooding and Andrew Fowler (assistant pro at the R&T) and the much needed assistance of Josh Bainton of Newport and Kenny Jacobs of Tuxedo.
 Entry rules permit anyone to participate who (1) has less than a year’s experience, regardless of handicap, (2) has less than two years’ experience and a 25+ handicap, or (3) regardless of experience, has a 30+ handicap.