The 2009 Etchebaster Cup was hosted by The Tuxedo Club January 23-25. The draw of 19 included representatives from Boston T&R (Ken Forton, Bill Conners, and Warren Knapp), Philadelphia (Gary Swantner, Zach Sacks, and Jon Crowell), Washington (Ivan Blas), Aiken (Bill Blalock), and Tuxedo (Bob Buettner, Doug Ewing, Walter Deane, Rob Silvay, Richard Gilder, Joe Ehrlich, John Whitney, Jason Magna, Jacques Bromberg, Greg Gross, and Dan Laukitis).
Friday crowds witnessed a number of quality preliminary matches and were treated to a lovely Friday evening at Joya and Bob Buettner’s home.. Even those knocked out of the draw stayed on hand Saturday and Sunday to enjoy Tuxedo’s charms and watch the tightly contested matches. A big dinner at the Tuxedo club was followed by some latenite billiards.
In the top half of the draw Ivan Blas of Washington defeated Gross (6-2, 6-1) and Bromberg (6-2, 6-2) only to lose in the semis to Jon Crowell of Philly, who had worked his way past Whitney (Tuxedo) and Forton (Boston). Crowelll survived a nailbiter first set 6-5 against Blas and carried the momentum in a 6-1 second set to reach the finals.
In the bottom half of the draw veteran Aiken player Bill Blalock steadily advanced to the semis by defeating Tuxedomen Deane and Silvay. But there he ran into newcomer Warren Knapp of Boston who had already cut down Gilder (6-3, 6-0) and Laukitis (6-2, 6-5). Knapp continued on to the finals with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Blalock.
The full Sunday gallery was treated to a high caliber final between Crowell and Knapp, but Knapp proved too steady, committing few errors and racking up grille shots on his way to a 6-2, 6-3 victory to claim the Etchebaster Cup. Welcome to court tennis, Warren! See you at Gold Racquets!
The Tuxedo Club wants to thank all participants, especially those relative newcomers to the court tennis community who consistently demonstrated admirable sportsmanship in victory or defeat.