A small, but determined group of players gathered in Newport for the 2008 Burke Cup. The tournament, for players in the handicap range of 32-38, was played off handicap.
Frank Curren moved easily through the top half of the draw to reach the finals. The only tight match was between Blake Henderson, who had just returned from a month in Dubai, and world traveler, Peter Bender. Henderson won in three. Curren easily dispatched Henderson in the semis.
The bottom half of the draw, however, was another story, as Berry Packham kicked off the weekend with a come from behind win, 5-all, 40-all in the third, to beat Ross Cann. Packham went on to play Arnold Spangler in the quarters, another 3 setter, this time to Spangler. Brenda Nardolillo had decisive wins to reach the semifinal against Arnold Spangler. Spangler, taking a page out of Packham’s playbook, lost the first set and was down several match points in the second, only to rally and win the second set and the deciding set.
The final, played on Super Bowl Sunday, fittingly pitted a New Englander, Curren, against a New Yorker, Spangler. Curren dominated the match from the serving end, by serving a tight pique serve. This forced Spangler to respond with a weak return. Spangler lost confidence and was unable to find a way to make a chase. In the games that he won, Spangler was on the service end. Overall, Curren played a smart match and exhibited many of the skills he has been working on over the past few months.
In the back draw, which was comprised of 1st and 2nd round losers, Ross Cann defeated Ty Romeyn, 10/3.
Thanks to the National Tennis Club for hosting the Burke Cup. Rich Smith did a good job in organizing and marking for the weekend. Tony Hollins also did a great marking job!
The draws are attached.