The first medals of the 2014/15 season were awarded in Newport on October 12 at the USCTA Under 19 Junior Doubles. Known as the Lieb Cup, in honor of the late John Lieb, the event attracted nine players from Newport and Washington.
The weekend began on Friday afternoon with the players participating in a series of drills and practice games.
Saturday morning began with a clinic for Tiny Tots. Throughout the summer, Newport has been running a Tot’s clinic for players between four and nine years old. Seven tots participated and then stayed on to watch the “big kids” go through their drills. Footwork, backhands and forehands were the focus of the Saturday morning drills.
Match play began after lunch. A series of twenty-minute matches allowed each player to be paired with each other once. Each win was worth a point, with bonus points awarded to the winning team. The top four point finishers would qualify for the A final and the second four would go into the B final.
Following play on Saturday, the juniors went out to dinner, followed by ice cream and a trip to the video arcade. It was a perfect end to a long day.
Sunday morning started with more footwork drills, followed by match play. During the lunch break, the players got to ask questions of the pros – Rich and Ricardo – and Newport’s trainee, Chris Aley. After some tough questioning, the players returned to the court for some final drills.
The matches began with a pre-finals singles match between Cash Martin and Chris Aley. A new player with lots of potential, Cash handled himself well on court against the more experienced Aley.
In the B final, Jack Martin and Colby Richardson defeated Bennett Van Liew and Christian Coffey 8-7.
The A final featured some “veterans of the game” in a best of three sets match. Chase Motz and Will Harkins played a solid game to defeat Ben Dickinson and Pete Dickinson 6-1,6-0.
The Lieb Cup weekend has long been a great junior weekend combining match play with instruction. Besides seeing some great tennis, it is extremely satisfying for the players, parents and professionals to see the progress that the juniors make during a weekend of intensive drills and match play. The weekend was organized and run by the Newport professionals – Rich Smith and Ricardo Smith with help from NTC trainee – Chris Aley, and NTC junior chair – Paul Harkins.