The 2012 Etchebaster Cup was held at the Racquet and Tennis Club this past weekend of February 10-12.  The event was among the most successful Etchebaster Cups in recent years in terms of the number of entrants, level of play, and the size and enthusiasm of the group of spectators.  An impressive showing of 28 participants from Boston, Newport, Tuxedo, Philadelphia, and New York displayed their craft on court with style and aplomb. 

The T&R in Boston had a strong level of participation this year, fielding more entrants than any other club.  This year’s finalists, Billy Conners and Andy Roberts, both from Boston, displayed excellent play, although with very different styles.  Andy reached the finals with his well-honed classic court tennis style focusing on length into the corners, while Billy reached the finals by focusing on his usual style, dominated by very effective boasts and forces.  In the much anticipated finals, Andy’s less colorful but relentlessly precise game won out allowing him to defeat Billy Conners 6-2, 6-3.

Among the entertaining moments of the tournament was one interesting but odd record set for recent Etchebaster tournaments which occurred on Saturday in a match between Peter Cipriano from the R&T and Chris Heffernan from Tuxedo:  one game of their games lasted for a crowd-pleasing display of 33 minutes of deuces and adds!    

The standout from New York was newcomer to the game, Tom McGinnis from the R&T, who played very well throughout the weekend.  En route to the semifinals, he recorded wins over three more seasoned opponents, including an impressive victory over Vu Hoang from Princes Court who had the lowest handicap of the field.  Tom’s undoing, however, was meeting Billy Conners in the semifinals. After losing the first set to Billy 3-6, Tom came back, dominating the second set 6-1 only to lose the last set to Billy, 3-6 (starting at three-all), when Billy found new resolve from the strong encouragement of the Boston entourage in the dedans and Pell Room.  Also representing New York well last weekend was Arthur Whitcomb of the R&T who won the Consolation Draw with a very steady and well-put-together classic game.

The weekend was a great success overall, with well attended matches throughout, including the finals on Sunday where a champagne brunch was served.  Appreciation is expressed for this well run tournament to Mike Gooding, head tennis pro at the R&T, for organizing the event and to tournament chairman, Lindsay McManus, and co-chair, Arthur Whitcomb for their support.  Thanks also go to markers, Neil Smith, James Stout, and Barney Tanfield.