The members of the Aiken Tennis Club were thrilled to host the National Open January 11-14 and came out in force to watch ten of the top pros based in the US and three top amateurs who rounded out the field. Throughout the weekend we were all treated with warm weather, even by Aiken standards, which proved the incentive for most of our visiting pros to get in a few rounds of golf in between matches. In addition to some casual golf, seven ATC and Palmetto members treated the pros to a wonderful golf outing after the finals on Sunday which concluded with an evening of drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres at the magnificent Willcox Hotel.
The top seeds advanced to the semi finals; James Stout defeated Steve Virgona 5/6 6/5 6/1, and Camden Riviere held off his training partner Tim Chisholm 2/6 6/3 6/4. Emerging to the finals of the back draw were the Philadelphia contingent of Robby Whitehouse and Gabe Kinzler (former Aiken Pro and crowd favorite). Both players exhibited classic floor shots and ball control, in the end Gabe just had the endurance and skill necessary to nudge past his boss Robby for the victory, 4/6 6/0 6/5. The main draw final pitted hometown favorite Camden Riviere against World Rackets champion, the graceful and super quick James Stout. Camden endured a rocky start in the match while James answered with brilliant retrieving, first set to James 6/3. By the second set Camden’s shots to openings began to find their targets, James continued to retrieve and dig to stay in the match, but in the end Camden just had too many weapons; he won the next three sets for the title 6/2 6/1 6/0.