Photo by Bill Burgin

US Pro – Schochet Cup

Match Notes – Q/F Through Finals


Final – Rob Fahey defeats Cam Riviere 6/3, 6/0, 6/3

Playing to a packed gallery, Rob Fahey took on the “adopted” home town favorite, Cam Riviere in the finals of the US Pro Singles playing for the Schochet Cup. While Cam’s home court is Aiken, he has been living in Newport and attending Salve Regina University for the past year, Needless to say, Cam has become a fixture at The National Tennis Club, and as such the NTC has adopted him!

Rob came into the match with a game plan and stuck to it throughout the match. He served tight railroads for both first and second serves… no bobbles, etc, forcing Cam to either boast the return down the line or hit a straight force. As such, Rob made sure that he dominated the service end as much as possible.

Cam started off the match with confidence. He soon found that if he left any loose balls, that Rob would respond by finishing the point off by hitting a target! Loose balls in the Hazard end, resulted in main wall forces into the dedans or a cut shot into Cam’s back hand. Similarly on the service end, the Grille and Winning Gallery were in Rob’s successful bag of tricks!

In short, as Rich Smith, the marker, said…the words “pure dominance” come to mind when describing Rob’s play.

Reflecting upon the match, Josh Bainton, Cam’s trainer, had the following to say. “Rob’s plan was to make a statement. While there are a number of younger, up and coming guys in the game, Rob is still a major force in the game.”

“Rob has the advantage of appearing in so many finals over his career, that he plays as relaxed in the finals as he does in the first round. For newer players like Cam, it forces them to try too hard or nerves take over and they can’t execute the strategy they set out.”

Continuing on, Josh said that “Cam needs to work on his serving and his main wall defense. Those are the two most important things that Cam needs to achieve if he plans to beat Rob.”

Rob came into today’s’ final having never lost a match in Newport, including 5 consecutive Schochet Cup wins and the World Championship in 2004. His career earnings in Newport over the past 6 years is over $100,000 – a number that in the court tennis word is huge! He appears to be as focused as ever – leading one to conclude that he will be around for awhile.

Cam should be congratulated on getting to his first major singles final, with solid play throughout the tournament. He is only the third American to reach the finals of this event. And by all measures, is poised to take over the reins from Tim Chisholm, America’s long time top professional.

Cam’s performance over the past week sets up a great stage for the upcoming 2008 World Championship Eliminator, which will include 4 of the following players: Steve Virgona, Nick Wood, Ruaraidh Gunn, Tim Chisholm and Cam. Whichever 4 make it, it should make for an interesting series, with the winner challenging, Rob Fahey, in Paris next spring. Stay tuned!

In summary, it has been a great week of tennis, supplemented by some great parties and the traditional golf outing. No summary, however, would be complete without applauding Jay Schochet for his principal support of this event. 2007 marks the 17th year that Jay has sponsored this extraordinary event and all of us, players and spectators are grateful for his continued support.

Jay is joined by Northfield Information Services, The USCTA, The Maids Service, ZANETT, PDQ, Jane Lippincott and The Wellington Resort in the primary sponsorship of the event. In addition, a number of businesses and individuals served as patrons.

Special thanks go to the National Tennis Club for hosting the tournament, as well as the members of the NTC for hosting players and for being enthusiastic spectators throughout the week.

Thank you also to all of the professionals who came from all over the world to play in the Schochet Cup. It is always fun to catch up with some familiar players and to set some new faces! And finally, thanks to our winner and World Champion Rob Fahey, who displays amazing athletic ability on court and off court is a great spokesman and role model for the game of court tennis.

See a video interview with the finalists in the links below.

Friday – June 8

Semifinal Match Notes

Camden Riviere def. Steve Virgona 0/6, 6/5, 6/4, 6/0

It’s not often that you see two left-handers squaring off against each other, but that’s exactly what happened in the first semifinal match on Friday. Camden Riviere (USA), the # 5 World ranked player took on the #2 ranked player, Steve Virgona (AUS).

In the first set, Steve was on fire. He did not miss a single forehand and he served tight. He was very single-minded and focused.

After losing 6/0 in the first set, Cam did well not to get his head down. He went ahead 4/1 in the second set. Steve fought back to tie the set at 4-all and then went ahead 5/4. Cam came back to tie the set at 5-all. At this point, though Cam was seeing the main wall forces better and serving better, resulting in a 6/5 victory to Cam.

Steve went up 4/1, in the 3rd set, but Cam was not phased. He fought back and won the next 11 games of the match. Steve was still very much in the match, but despite his efforts, it was apparent that something was up.

Camden, continued on unphased…running around and retrieving everything and in the words of the marker, Ben Ronaldson, “getting ridiculous hits”.

In the 4th set, Steve was in it for the first two games, and then effectively conceded the match at 2/0. He was no longer pushing, owing to a hip problem that made it difficult to go into the forehand corner.

Camden showed great strength of character after a bad first set, a tight 2nd second and then going on to dominate the rest of the match.

Rob Fahey defeated Nick Wood 6/1, 6/4, 6/0

The second semifinal; of the day featured the #1 seed and current World Champion (AUS) versus the #6 World ranked player, Nick Wood (BRI). Nick played well in the first two sets. There were a lot of deuce games, which Rob came out on top. The scores of the first two sets were not a reflection upon the closeness of the match.

In the 3rd and final set, Nick lost his momentum, Rob became more aggressive and just finished the points that much quicker.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Quarterfinal Match Comments

Steve Virgona def. Bryn Sayers 6/5,6/1,6/4

Bryn is truly improving and on the verge of breaking into the top tier.  He has the best two-handed backhand in the history of the game.

Steve was still working out the court. He served extremely well.

Nick Wood def. Mike Gooding 6/3,6/2,6/2

The match got off to a slow, cagey start. Nick, played a predictable game, which included retrieving well. Mike didn’t find his range/power game. Nick won all of the tight games.

Mike tried to change the pace in the third set, but his accuracy wasn’t there. In the final set, Wood finished off the rallies with devastating accuracy.

Rob Fahey def. Andrew Fowler 6/4,6/3,6/0

Andrew played well above his handicap. He caught Rob by surprise by taking a 2/0 lead in the first set. He retrieved well and hit a lot of targets throughout the match. BUT…Rob was just a little too strong!

Camden Riviere def. Rich Smith 6/4,6/2,6/1

Playing to a packed house, the Newport Head Professional squared off against Camden, another hometown favorite. Rich, despite battling a two-day stomach bug, played some fantastic shots. He had many chances to win games, but unfortunately he was plagued by too many unforced errors.

In the end, Camden had a “little extra class” on the big points.

US Pro Singles – Schochet Cup
June 3 – 10, 2007    Newport
R.Fahey Seeds:
Bye   1.R.Fahey
Wed 10:00  Fahey 2.S.Virgona
B.Tanfield    6/0,6/0,6/1 3.C.Riviere
Mon 12:00 Tanfield   4.N.Wood
I.Ronaldson 6/2,6/3,6/4   5.M.Gooding
Thurs 2:00 Fahey
J.Bainton    6/4,6/3,6/0
Sun 12:00 J. Bainton    
P.Shannon 6/1,6/0,6/4    
Wed 5:00 Fowler   
Bye   4/6,6/4,  
  A.Fowler 6/3,6/5  
A.Fowler Fri 5:00 Fahey
Wed 12:00  Gooding    
B.Matthews    6/3,6/4,    
Mon 5:00 Matthews  4/6,6/2    
C.Crossley 6/1,4/6,      
6/4,6/0 Thurs 12 Wood   
Bye   6/3,6/2,6/2  
Wed 2:00  Wood  
Bye    6/2,6/0,6/0  
  N.Wood   Fahey
N.Wood   Champion
  C.Riviere Sun 11:00
Tue 2:00 Riviere  
W.Burns   6/0,6/0,6/0  
Thurs 5:00  Riviere  
T.Hollins    6/4,6/2,6/1  
Sun 5:00 Ronaldson      
M.Ronaldson 1/6,6/5,6/2,      
  3/6,6/3 Smith    
R.Smith Tues 12:00 6/2,3/6,    
  R.Smith 6/0,6/0    
Fri 12:00  Riviere
B.Sayers   0/6,6/5,
  B.Sayers   6/4,6/0
Tue 5:00 Sayers  
R.McNaughtan   6/4,3/6,5/6,  
  R.McNaughtan  6/3,4/0ret  
Thurs 10  Virgona
J.Stout    6/5,6/1,6/4
Mon 2:00 Weaver  
T.Weaver 3/6,6/4,  
6/3,6/5 Virgona
Bye Tues 10 6/1,6/3,6/3

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