2016 National League Final
Chicago / Philadelphia vs. New England
Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

By John Wykeham

#2 Singles – John Lumley (CHI/PHL) def. Leon Smart (NE) – 6/1, 6/1

#1 Singles – Steve Virgona (CHI/PHL) def. Nick Howell (NE) – 5/6, 6/3, 6/3

Doubles – Virgona & Lumley (CHI/PHL) def. Howell & Hollins (NE) – 8/6

On August 17th the Boston Tennis and Racquet Club hosted the 2015/16 National League Finals featuring team New England and team Chicago / Philadelphia. There was a strong turn out from the T&R membership as 71 intrigued faces crammed into the dedans, Hamlen Room and side galleries.

The first match up saw T&R’s own Leon Smart taking on John Lumley, Philadelphia Tennis Professional. Both players started strong showing off some extremely clean ball striking and excellent retrieving; every rally seemed to be extended to 10 – 12 shots. On this night John proved the more solid, finding the winning openings more often. John took the opening match 6/1, 6/1.

Next up we had a do or die match for Team New England; they had to win this match to keep their dreams of becoming National League champions alive. The match featured Chicago’s Steve Virgona and Newport Senior Professional, Nick Howell. With a combination of accurate forcing and tight railroads, Nick took the early lead closing out the first set with a tight deuce game at 5/5. Now behind the eight ball, Steve came out strong in the second set and started to control the majority of the points. Steve got his nose in front early and never looked back, taking the second set 6/3. He then carried this momentum into the final set which he also took 6/3, closing out the match and also securing the title for Team Chicago/Philadelphia.

John and Steve were kind enough to play the doubles, now a dead rubber, and the crowd stuck around to witness some exhibition doubles. Steve and John also took this match to 8/6 to complete a clean sweep 3/0 victory on the night.

Thanks to all who came out to watch the match and also those of you who tuned in online to take in the web streaming. This was courtesy of Ryan Carey who setup the cameras and sat tirelessly updating the scoreboard during the matches to keep the online viewers up to date.

Congratulations Team Chicago / Philadelphia!!