Prince’s Court was pleased to host this year’s Wharton (50-59) and Hickey (60+) level championships. Thanks to the efforts of our tireless leaders, Ivan Ronaldson and Phil Shannon, the weekend treated players, members and newfound fans to thrilling tennis. Friday’s match of the day pitted two future Prince’s Court stars against one another. Tristan Motz, 15, and Erik Barker, 9, sons of legends John Motz and Bill Barker, wowed the gallery with their incredible digs, forces, volleys, and stellar sportsmanship. Tristan eked out a nail-biting 5/6 6/4 6/4 victory that left Prince’s Court members counting the days to Whitney Cup 2020. Despite barely being able to find the balls tucked away in the dedans, Erik proved to be pound-for-pound the greatest player this side of the Mississippi.
Washingtonian Jason Koepke had little trouble zooming through the Hickey draw to take the crown, upending new Prince’s Court member Jeff Nesbit in the final 6/3 6/3. Having played less than one month, Jeff’s effort to reach the final should not be overlooked; but Jason’s lightning speed, quick reflexes and laid-back approach made him a tough out. He will certainly be a force to reckon with in the 2012 Wharton Cup!
Prince’s Court member John Patton took the Wharton Cup title in gut-wrenching fashion, winning 6/5 in the third set of all three of his tilts. First John took out our own Greek God, Yiannis Mostrous, 6/5 1/6/ 6/5, in a spirited battle of titans. Next up was Boston strong boy Chris Blier, who had just come off his own three-set tester against local Bill Swiacki. Patton took their semifinal match up 6/3 1/6 6/5 to reach the final against another Washington player, Charlie Katz.
Charlie, born with ice skates on his feet, took powerful glides across the court to take the first set of the final in blazing fashion, 6/1. John, using this as an excuse to showcase his resiliency, righted the ship and took the next two sets 6/2 and 6/5. John and Charlie provided fans with lengthy rests that included some incredible digs off the back wall. John gave us the point of the weekend when he raced toward the net, scooped up the ball to avoid the chase, stayed at net and reflex volleyed Charlie’s dart right into the corner for the winner. Leading the charge, the Ambassador, Temple Grassi, and the rest of the onlookers, leaped off their feet and banged on our famed glass wall.
First-round losers were placed in a plate doubles tourney where Washingtonian David Berry teamed with Boston’s Helen Grassi to take down Philly’s tandem of Kurt Wulfekhuler and Andrew Brown in the final.
Thanks to all the out-of-towners who challenged for the Cups, the Prince’s Court members who both played and cheered on their brethren, and to all those who made the weekend a tremendous success.
The Draws are attached