Photo & Story by Barney Tanfield
The 2016 Etchebaster Trophy
The Racquet and Tennis club hosted the Etchebaster Trophy and its Racquets equivalent the Kendrick Cup January 22nd- 24th. Twenty-six competitors representing eight U.S. clubs sought the title. The tournament has served as a notable springboard for many top players, particularly over the last few years. This year’s simplified eligibility requirements ensure that the Etchebaster remains focused on talented new players.
Adding to the suspense surrounding the tennis, a ferocious winter storm blasted the East Coast throughout the weekend. Two feet of snow and 50 mph winds combined to disrupt play on Saturday by carrying snow into air vents and down onto the courts, closing the East Court for the day and delaying the start of play on the West Court by nearly two hours. R&TC engineers braved the elements and preserved tournament play by removing snow bluffs from the roof in the peak of the storm.
Several of the players had impressive showings. Matthew Mackin, a former R&TC Summer Guest, had major upsets against Jake Claghorn (R&TC) and Daniel Sternberg (Princes Court) and continued his run with a nail biting 8/7 win against another former R&TC Summer Guest, Charlie Michele. John Beam (Tuxedo) was in strong form taking down the third seeded Daniel Verhave (Boston) and ending Mackin’s Cinderella story in the semi- final.
The Etchebaster’s biggest story was undoubtedly the Champion, Dr. Anders Cohen. Cohen defeated up and comer Will Roberts (former R&TC Summer Guest) in his quarter- final on Saturday (8-2). His semi- final on Sunday was an unbelievable three set, 5-5, 40-all win against an extremely impressive former R&TC Summer Guest Will Fantini (fresh off running away with the New York Open Handicap “C” division just two months prior).
Cohen and Beam treated the enthusiastic Sunday crowd to a fantastic final. The match couldn’t have been much closer or more exciting and again ended with Cohen triumphing 6-5 in the third and deciding set. Afterward, Anders amusingly speculated that it must have been the first time since the Kendrick and Etchebaster have been grouped together that someone lost 15-0, 15-0 in racquets yet still managed to win all his Tennis matches.
Special thanks to Tournament Chairman Dylan Patterson and the R&TC staff for a magnificent weekend of play and hospitality. If the weekend’s standard of play is any indication, the professionals and committees throughout the U.S. continue to develop exceptionally talented new players year after year.