2016 US Amateur and US 50’s Tournament Report Aiken Tennis Club
By Dacre Stoker USCTA Rep.
The last time the US Amateur and the US 50’s were held in Aiken in 2010 and 2009 respectively, we had a difficult time attracting competitive out of town players to round out the draws. In 2016 the opposite was the case, we had 9 players in the US AM singles, 6 teams in the doubles, 14 players in the US 50’s singles and 7 teams in the doubles. Five of the players were visitors from the UK, one of which was a rackets fellow from the Racquet Club of Chicago, all but 4 of the other players were visitors to Aiken.
One match was played on the opening Thursday night, all others were contested continuously between 8 am on Friday to 10:30pm Saturday night. Sunday started at 9am with various Semi Finals and finished with the 50’s Final at 12:45 Monday morning!
As much of a challenge as this was for the players and markers, the spectators did not seem to mind. After-all there was plenty of food and drink available, this combined with exciting tennis kept the dedans full all the way until the final ball was struck.
It is probably safe to say that with this turn out of players these two events will not be scheduled together on one weekend in a single court venue. This is a testimony of how the USCTA has grown and the popularity of the Nationals age group and the Open Amateur Championships. This was also the first Amateur Championship for Singles and Doubles where the matches were marked from the dedans with assistant markers positioned in the grille from the quarterfinals onwards.
The semi and final matches were very competitive and entertaining to watch. Players demonstrated excellent sportsmanship throughout the long weekend. Most of the matches were marked by Sergio Lopez and Dacre Stoker with relief from Nick Jones and Robert Shenkman. Assistant markers positioned in the grille were Bob Cook, Mit Carothers and Geoff Ellis. I wish to thank the members of the organizing committee, Mit Carothers, Geoff Ellis, Rakish Jasani, and especially Robert Glance and his wife Cheryl for providing players and spectators with delicious food throughout the entire weekend.