An amateur singles contest, the Jimmy Knott is traditionally the first tournament of the year and kicks off the USCTA fixture list. The tournament was formerly known as the Boston A Invitational. It was renamed after Jimmy Knott passed away the year after he won it. Due to Boston’s roof situation, the tournament has been hosted by the National Tennis Club for the last three years.
Ten players competed in this year’s Jimmy Knott in Newport from September 27th-29th. The first rounds went largely as expected. In the semifinals, Englishman Mark Mathias defeated Boston’s Jeremy Wintersteen 6/4, 6/1. Mark is playing out of Washington this fall and has been a former Van Alen Cup player. His home court is Lords but he also plays at Hyde Bridport. He participated in the British Real Tennis Academy’s Development Squad program in 2010/2011. In the other semifinal, New York’s Lex Miron defeated Shawn Herlihy from Boston 6/0, 6/3.
In the backdraw, NTC’s Richard Gilder advanced to play Boston’s David Schenkein. The two had squared off in a preliminary main draw match so spectators wondered if the result would be the same. David played a very steady match and prevailed 10/2.
Vegas had the Miron / Mathias final as even money. Would it be Lex’s experience and game plan or Mark’s youth and recent court activity? The two players were fairly even handicap-wise with Lex at a 10.2 and Mark at a 12.5. Spectators had the match as a pick’em. Lex got off to a slow start and was slightly off on his targets. He also hit a number of net cords. Down 1-4, the set looked to be going to Mark fairly easily but Lex played a strong 6th game, won the 7th, and then got to 30-30. Mark played a solid 8th game and went on to win it and the next to take the first set 6/3. Lex won the first game of the second set and looked to turn the tide but Mark’s steady all around play and tight railroads prevailed and he took the second set 6/2.
Thanks to the National Tennis Club for hosting this year’s Jimmy Knott and to NTC professionals Rich Smith and Sergio Lopez for their marking and organization. Thanks also to Tennis & Racquet Club professional Tony Hollins for organizing the tournament from Boston.
For the Complete Draw,