The USCTA Level Championship for handicaps 30-39 (The Noll Cup) was held this past weekend at Prince’s Court. The field consisted of 13 entrants: 7 “locals” and 6 “exotics” representing New York, Newport, Philadelphia and Parts Unknown (Bender). While all of the matches were curiously won in straight sets, almost every match was close and played to a level well past their “on paper” handicaps. The Prince’s Court players seemed to enjoy a home court advantage as the four semifinalists were Washington players. The top 2 seeds, Vu Hoang and Sara Lacombe took a page from the earlier in the morning Australian Open marathon final between Djokovic and Nadal with superlative play causing the spectators to “ooo” and “ahh” regularly. The first set went to five games all and Hoang managed to close out the set with seemingly laser guided “wall huggers” to Lacombe’s backhand corner. The second set was just as contentious even if the score does not necessarily indicate it. A very well played match on both sides and the sportsmanship displayed matched the level of play. Hoang def. Lacombe 6/5 6/2.
The plate Round Robin final was played earlier in the morning between New York’s Vincent Andrews, Washington’s John Saxe and the global Ambassador Peter Bender. Saxe employed a steady strategy all weekend of going down big early and then rallying back to win. The Sunday plate final held true to form as Bender had him down early by 4 or 5 games only to see Saxe rally late to win the plate title.
Speaking of Ambassadors, our Ambassador, Temple Grassi made his triumphant return to Prince’s Court after having knee replacement surgery earlier in the month. He was quite pleased with the high level of the matches and reports that he was sufficiently entertained waving his cane with excitement on multiple occasions.
The later matches were webcasted and you can click here to watch the archived match videos.
The shot of the tournament was by Haven Pell who, on the hazard end, hit a boast off of the tambour that one-hopped into the dedans. A world champion-esque shot!
Thank you to the USCTA and our Pros for holding such a wonderful event