The Winthrops are coming, the Winthops are coming!
by Jeremy Wintersteen
Players from Aiken, New York, Newport, and Boston played in the dual tournament weekend in Boston for the U.S. Mixed Doubles and Jimmy Knott.
A small but solid field of five teams played in the Mixed. The first and second rounds went as expected with Pat and Jen Winthrop (#1 seed) meeting Dillon Aldrich and Amanda Avedissian (#2) in the final. The Newport siblings got off to a great start and took the first set. Dillon and Amanda regrouped, started making many fewer errors, and took the second fairly easily. The teams exchanged games for most of the third set with great rallies all around. Amanda’s volleying, Dillon’s gets and steady play, Pat’s forces and good serving, and Jen’s steadiness made for some very exciting points. When the Winthrops went up 40-0 at 5/4, the crowd assumed the match was over. After six match balls, the score would soon be knotted up at 5-5. Dillon made some great gets and beat a chase better than three with a dedans shot to stave off a match ball. Pat served a very good last game and Jen and Pat got some unforced errors to get ahead in the eleventh game, which they closed out. A thriller of a match and one of the closest Mixed Doubles finals ever!
The Jimmy Knott, a Boston singles tournament renamed after Jimmy Knott the year after he won it and passed away, started off with an exciting first round match between Dillon Aldrich and Garrett Gates. Garrett took the first set fairly easily but Dillon focused and took the second. Both players retrieved very well. Dillon’s game got steadier as the match progressed and took the third set 6/4. In the semifinals, Pat Winthrop prevailed over New York’s new player Peter Cipriano, who had dispatched Boston’s Jeff Horine earlier. In the other semi, Jeremy Wintersteen edged out Tom McGinnis from New York in a very close match. In the final, Jeremy and Pat exchanged long games to start the match but Jeremy took the first set. Pat regrouped, got steadier, and took the second. Jeremy went up 5-3, played two bad games, and Pat dug in to go 5-5. Pat served very well in the last three games and took the last to win the Knott.
Congratulations to Pat and Jen Winthrop for taking the first national title of the year. Congratulations to Pat for winning his fourth Jimmy Knott and winning two consecutive 6/5 third set contests. In the Mixed Backdraw, Boston’s Jeff Horine and Helen Grassi prevailed over Peter Cipriano and Aiken’s Dana Kopald. In the Jimmy Knott Backdraw, Amanda Avedissian played a very solid match and defeated Tom Pickin.
Many thanks go to T&R Senior Professional Tony Hollins for all his organizational efforts on the tournaments and to Camden Riviere for assisting throughout the weekend. Combining the Mixed Doubles with another tournament worked and will hopefully be tried again next year. All players and spectators had a good time in the Hub and congratulations to the winners and finalists!