Once again the Newport Handicap Doubles drew players from around the country and around the world to the National Tennis Club to compete in four divisions. In the B, C & D divisions eight teams per division played in a round robin format with the top two team of each four team group going through to a single elimination semi-final round, with the first place team in each group of four facing off against the second place team in the other group. This effectively meant that even a team that had lost two matches had a chance to go through in some instances based on the number of games lost and won and so the level of excitement was high until that last minute of the last match.
Off the court the series of social events was outstanding as ever. The traditional seafood buffet and cocktails on the porch of the Canfield House was held on a beautiful evening and the camaraderie and fun flowed in abundance (along with the beer and wine)! The tournament dinner, normally hosted at the New York Yacht Club in past years, was moved to the main dining room of the Canfield House because of the presence of the America’s Cup World Series that had largely taken over the Harbor Court facility. The setting was lovely, the prime rib buffet was exceptional and the musical and comedy performances hired by that the tournament’s primary organizer, Kip Curren, were entertaining to the assembled group.
On Sunday, in the semi final rounds, several teams had the chance to best the top team from the other group in their division to get a rematch against the top that had beaten them in the first round robin play and new (friendly) rivalries were established within the tournament that added to the excitement and level of competition. The level of play was remarkably high all the way through the four divisions and there were long rallies played for hard-fought points in every match. The Finals were played in the afternoon and the trophies were awarded to the victorious (and elated) champions and to the valiant finalists. All in all another great tournament.
A Final: Rich Smith/Ryan Carey def Josh Bainton/Jonathan/Pardee 10/8.
B Final: Andy Segal/Sergio Lopez def David Boenning/Richard Gilder 10/3.
C Final: Sheila Reilly/Chris Cushing def Leonard Mazzone/Clem Napolitano 10/8.
D Final: Joe Tomaino/Bill Burgin def Bill Beacham/Etienne de la Valette 9/5.