The 2011 Anne Boleyn Handicap Singles tournament was played in Newport on April 29-May 1. This year we used a new format to allow more matches in order to maximize the playing experience. As this is a handicap event, players of all levels can enter and have a chance to win. Allowing for more matches gives new players the opportunity to gain match experience, while at the same time testing the skills of the more experienced players.
The format divided the 12 players into 3 pools, with each player playing 3 matches in their pool. The 2 highest finishers in each pool went into the championship draw on Sunday, with the remaining 6 going into the consolation draw. The end result was that all players had a minimum of 4 matches.
The tournament, considered to be a women’s development event was supported by the United States Court Tennis Preservation Fund.
Thanks to the professionals – Rich Smith and Jake Worseldine for their marking and coaching hints throughout the weekend. And thanks to the NTC organizing committee, led by Sheila Reilly and Jane Lippincott, and assisted by: Amy MacMillan, Jen & Beth Winthrop, Mary Stevens, Sarah Rodgers, Jen Metzler, Frank Oliveira, Petra Napolitano, Bert & Caroline Lippincott and Brewer Rowe.
Please read on for Sheila Reilly’s match report!

It was a true parent-child event in the finals of the 2011 Anne Boleyn in Newport this year, as mother and daughter, Beth and Jen Winthrop, worked their ways through the draw to compete for the axe in the final.

It was not an easy road for Jen to get there.  She played three matches on Sunday.  First she had to overcome a 30/owe 30 handicap against Nancy Multer of Boston in the quarters, and took it to the limit before eking out the win 10/9.  Trailing during most of her semi-final match against two-time winner of this event, Caroline Lippincott, and giving 15 every game, she drew even twice in the match only to fall behind again.  At 9 games all, with time running down, and the score 40-15 against her in the final game, she took the service end to defend a chase, and denied Caroline three match points, winning the final three points of the match, 10/9.

Her mother Beth only had to win one match to reach the final on Sunday, but she had to earn it, giving up 15 points a game to newcomer Jennie Metzler and squeaking by as the clock ran out, winning 8/7.

The Freudian implications of a mother/daughter match-up may be debated, but being on the giving end of a rec 15/ owe ½ 30 handicap could not help Jen much, as her mother just kept the ball in play and won easily, 10/2. 

Losers in the main draw went into a knockout back draw, which was won by Scilla Smith of Philadelphia over Petra Napolitano in the final, 8/2.

One other thing this tournament was notable for was the presence of three generations of a single family the draw, as Mary Stevens, mother and grandmother of the winner and finalist, also competed.