The 2016 Northrup Knox Invitational, hosted by the Aiken Tennis Club, was held April 14-17, 2016. At the conclusion of 15 matches, brilliantly marked and managed by our tournament director Matt Ronaldson, the title of tournament champion was successfully defended by the team of Rakesh Jasani and Jason Mengel. A 3-peat no less!
Visiting players have always been a part of the Knox competition and this year was no different. John Saxe, Charlie Braham, Anders Cohen, Sav Cremona, Ryan Carey and possibly our member with the longest commute, Brian Owens, teamed with local players to continue the tradition.
Group A winners Michael Sullivan and Charlie Braham defeated the teams of John Saxe/Bob Cook 6-0, 6-5, Jasani and Mengel 6-4, 6-1, and Anders Cohen and Geoff Ellis 6-5, 6-5. The runner-up in the division was Jasani and Mengel, and as fate would have it, would have a rematch in the final with the group winners.
Group B winners Ryan Carey and Brian Vaughters defeated the teams of Jason Rabun and Vaughn Massie 6-2, 6-2, Morgan Purvis and Brian Owens 6-4, 5-6, 6-5, and Sav Cremona and Jim Geddes 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Group runner-up was the team of Cremona/Geddes.
The 9 am semifinal of Sunday morning saw the team of Sullivan/Braham defeat Cremona/Geddes 6-2, 6-1 and in the second semifinal at 10:30 Jasani/Mengel defeated Carey/Vaughters 6-2, 6-5. Thus set up a 1 pm final and rematch when in a reverse of the outcome of round robin play, Rakesh Jasani and Jason Mengel prevailed over Michael Sullivan and Charlie Braham 6-2, 6-4.
The Aiken Spring Handicap, for players with a combined handicap over 35, was played concurrently with the Knox and added 7 matches to a full weekend of tennis. The teams of Shannon Ellis and Cheryl Glance, Alan Rutherford and John Harte, Tiger Riviere and Francois Verglas and Mit Carothers and Henry Cato battled throughout round robin play with the teams of Ellis/Glance and Carothers/Cato meeting in the final at 8:30 Saturday night in a 3 set shoot out. Although winning fewer games and losing more games in their 2 matches vs Ellis/Glance, Carothers/Cato prevailed again 6-5, 2-6, 6-5.
A full week of social events included Oyster Night on Thursday, Cocktails and Tennis on Friday, the Knox Dinner Saturday night and Sunday brunch. A special thanks to the social committee that made this happen, including the delicious food by Glance and Glance, and the brunch on Sunday hosted by the Knox family, which continues to support the high standard of amateur court tennis for which they are so well known.
Mit Carothers, Tennis Chairman, Aiken Tennis Club