The Aiken Tennis Club was pleased to host the Eleventh Annual Calhoun Witham Cup which began on Wednesday November 10 and concluded on Sunday November 14, 2010. In previous years the Tournament was known as the Aiken 30+ Handicap and was renamed the Calhoun Witham Cup following the death of A. Calhoun Witham, MD in May of 2000. Dr. Witham was a devotee of high handicap court tennis and a beloved member of the Aiken Tennis Club.
This year the Witham Cup once again enjoyed a sold out field of twenty teams from Boston, New York, Tuxedo, Philadelphia, Washington, Newport and England as well as many Aiken players. The field consisted of four Divisions of five teams with each participating team being guaranteed four matches. The four divisional winners played in the semifinals Sunday Morning and the finals were held on Sunday Afternoon following a lovely brunch hosted at the club by Betty Witham. The weather in Aiken was enjoyed by all as it was absolutely magnificent during the tournament with temperatures in the mid to high 70’s and bright blue skies.
The tournament was replete with upsets throughout which makes for most entertaining viewing as higher handicappers prevailed over their more accomplished opponents. Divisional winners and semifinalists consisted of Aiken’s own Alan Rutherfurd and Jason Mengel who were defeated by John Mears and Kevin Clancy from Boston in a two set match 6-4 and 6-1. In the second semifinal match previous three time winner Alec Miller from Hampton Court and John Iole of Philadelphia were defeated in a tough 6-2 and 6-4 match by Bill Connors and Brad Ursprung from Boston.
In the final match of the 2010 Witham Cup, the large crowd was entertained by high quality play from both teams as Bill Connors and Brad Ursprung lost a two set contest to John Mears and Kevin Clancy 6-2, 6-4. Connors and Ursprung played brilliantly at times but in the end the steady and consistent play of Mears and Clancy along with their excellent serving proved to be unbeatable.
Thanks are offered to Gabe Kinzler and Wayne Davies for their expert marking and officiating throughout the tournament.
Bill Blalock, Tournament Chairman