By James Zug Last week the Racquet & Tennis Club hosted the twentieth annual United States Court Tennis Association dinner and auction during the traditional mid-December Whitney Cup. The platinum dinner, originally conceived in 1998 and chaired for many years by Charlie Johnstone, was chaired this year by Brian Owens and Zack Sacks. A splendid cocktail hour started the evening. Peter di Bonaventura brought numerous photographs and trophies from Greentree, which dotted the main reading room at the club. Guests reunioned with old friends and browsed the extensive silent auction items. Besides the usual offerings of lessons with some of the world’s leading professionals, a unique offering was a giant photograph of Queen’s Club given by Anglo-American photographer Freddy Adam. The centerpiece of the table of silent auction items was an ice sculpture of the USCTA logo. James Zug, the president of the USCTA, started the dinner proceedings in the South Lounge by apologizing for coming down with a severe case of laryngitis. He asked former president Jeremy Wintersteen to join him at the podium. They asked for a moment of silence in honor of those members of our community who had passed away since the last annual dinner: Spencer Berger, Bob Harrington, John Mears, Berry Peckham, Jeannie Tanfield, Lucienne Van Schaack, Peter Wadsworoth and Denis Walsh. They then praised Camden Riviere and Tim Chisholm. In 2017 Riviere pulled off the calendar Grand Slam in singles, one of only eight players to ever achieve the feat of winning at the Australian, French, U.S. and British Opens all in the same year. In doubles, Riviere & Chisholm had the best year in history: in the spring, they… Read the Full Story >
Sixteen teams battled it out in the 2017 Calhoun Witham Doubles Tournament hosted by the Aiken Tennis Club November 2-5. Four former championship teams, eight visiting players from Great Britain, Newport, Washington D.C., Boston and New York competed in two divisions for the title. The tournament was very capably marked by visiting pro – Leon Smart – and Aiken’s Trey Bogue. After thirty-two matches had been played, the Division I trophy was lifted by a left-handed Ryan Carey and his partner Dana Kopald by defeating the team of Cheryl Glance and Claire Voegele. The Division II title was won by Morgan Purvis and Sawyer Duncan over the team of Charles Bostwick and George Handy III. Out of town players were housed with members of the Aiken Tennis Club and all were treated to a Thursday night Oyster Night, Cocktails and Tennis on Friday and the Witham Dinner on Saturday night. Betty Witham and family graciously hosted Sunday brunch. Thanks to club members – Dan Mayfield for organizing the housing and Robert and Cheryl Glance for the outstanding food.
by John Lumley We had a fantastic turnout for the 2017 Jimmy Dunn tournament with 6 full divisions and some of the matches starting on Wednesday night due to such a large turnout. In the Open Division home pro team of Rob Whitehouse and James Asher In the final match of the group it was John Lumley and Mike Noll vs Jon Crowell and Will Hopton. Crowell & Hopton came racing out of the gate taking a 4–1 lead in a heartbeat. Noll starting to find his footwork struck a few lovely volleys but it wasn’t enough as Crowell & Hopton take the first set 6/4. The next set saw some great exchanges with all players fired up and ready to go. Lumley & Noll working as a good team and mixing up pace with length took the second set 6/3. Tied at one set all the third set started at 3 games all. The crowd was building with at least 40 watching this final set. Lumley with some clean returns took the lead 4-3, but then Crowell making some great gets brought it back to 4 all. Hopton who had been steady at the net all weekend looked solid still but Lumley & Noll took the lead 5-4. Noll returning hit a few look to be winners but Crowell & Hopton denied them the easy win and found the match at 5 games all, final set! With the crowd on the edge of their seats the players did not let them down, probably the best rally of the tournament took place at 40-30 where Crowell & Hopton won it to make it 5 games… Read the Full Story >
Photos by Barney Tanfield 2017 Silver Racquet Invitational Tennis This year’s Silver Racquet Invitational Tennis included a strong Qualification draw which attracted entrants from clubs across the country, as well as England and France. The first qualification spot was secured by Noah Motz who edged out Peter Pell in three tight and entertaining sets. Benjamin Jacquin-Turrentini secured the other spot in the main draw by beating Ken Soffer then John Motz without the loss of a set. The Invitational draw featured the majority of the top-ranked amateurs in the country, with Pat Winthrop and Jon Crowell as the top-seeds. Play began early on Friday morning with Jeremy Wintersteen, Zach Sacks and Tom McGinnis easing through their respective first-round matches. The tightest first-round match saw Jacquin-Turrentini overcoming John Prenn after dropping the first set. The Frenchman continued his strong run in the Quarter Finals later that day, upsetting top-seeded, Pat Winthrop, 6/5 6/4. Earlier that evening, another seed fell when Addison West lost to an impressive McGinnis. Lex Miron and Jon Crowell respectively took the other Semi-Final spots with victories over Zachary Sacks and Jeremy Wintersteen. Two players who had upset the odds to make the Semis, Tom McGinnis and Benjamin Jacquin-Turrentini, faced off for a spot in the Final. The match was an interesting contrast in styles, with McGinnis dictating the majority of points but unable to consistently penetrate the defense of the Frenchman. There were several swings in momentum, Jacquin-Turrentini edging the first set 6/4, before McGinnis took the second set 6/1. Benjamin led 4/2 in the decider, but Tom was able to close out a couple of key games on his way to… Read the Full Story >
The T&R hosted the Jimmy Knott Memorial Singles; an event formerly known as the Boston A Invitational that was renamed in 1996 the year after Jimmy Knott won the event and passed away. This year’s event saw a slightly different format, with the tournament adopting a round robin style event. This meant that the players were guaranteed at least 3 competitive matches to help build match toughness as we move into the season. We were treated to some incredibly close matches with notable breakout performances from young up and comers, Ben Hudson and Pete Dickinson. On paper, Ben was the highest handicap player in his group of 4 but that did not stop him ending with a 2 – 1 record, only narrowly being edged out by top seed Jeremy Wintersteen in a close three-set match. Both players are products of the USCTA / USCTPF player development initiatives and it is great to see these efforts coming to fruition. Philip Stockton also held himself extremely well with a barn burner of a victory of Matt Breuer, 6/5 5/6 6/5, before giving the #2 seed, Alex Spence, a good scare by securing the first set in their showdown, 6/1; Alex managed to come through the battle in three sets but not without heavy resistance from Phil. After the group stages, four players emerged from their boxes with the first semi-final featuring #2 seed, Alex Spence taking on group 3 winner, David Tedeschi. These players have had several tight matches in the past and Alex, very aware of this, came out swinging, hitting every and any target presented to him. On this day, the onslaught was too much for… Read the Full Story >
One would suppose that after thirty-seven years of running an event, the managers would have it down to a science. Well, given the feedback we have received, we can say with a substantial degree of confidence that the 2017 Pell Cup tourney was one of, if not the, best ever. We have just finished a fantastic four days of tennis and parties. Everything was perfect, including the handsome program created by Sheila Reilly; the pelican tiles given to players as a memento; the great cocktail parties at the Club hosted by Social Committee chairwoman Shirley Freitag and her hard-working helpers; the dinner at the Conanicut Yacht Club; and the sumptuous Sunday brunch prepared and served by the team led by Beth Winthrop; There were fantastic donations to the professionals’ prize purse. It is gratifying to be able to reward the hardworking and talented professionals who keep this sport vibrantly alive with their teaching and high-level of play. The 2017 Pell doubles matches were incredibly competitive at all levels. There were many close matches that took well over an hour to finish. The results are listed below. The tournament was fully booked two weeks before it was to start. Players came from far and wide and included new comers to the game as well as experienced veterans. We had many out of town players enjoying Newport and The National Tennis Club itself. There were many compliments regarding the tournament, with competitors saying it was the most fun and well-organized tournament in which they have played. A big thank you to everyone involved in making the 2017 Pell Cup so memorable! Below are the winners in the… Read the Full Story >
by Dawson Lane
By John Lumley We had players from Australia, the UK & the USA all battling it out for the U.S. Nationals U23’s & U26’s titles! In the U23 Singles Erik Barker and Freddie Bristowe had one of the matches of the tournament with Bristowe taking it 5-6 6-5 6-5 to progress him into the semifinals! On the other half of the draw No.1 seed Will Hoskin had his hands full with Pete Dickinson just taking it 6-5 6-5. Pete retrieving out of the corners superbly making Will hit constantly good shots. It was the No.1 vs No.2 seed in the final of the U23’s. Noah Motz off to a quick start was striking the ball with exceptional pace causing Will to make racquet errors giving Noah the first set 6-3. Keen to keep the pressure on Noah kept moving Will round the court and controlling the rallies and took the U23 National Title 6-3 6-2! In the U23 Doubles Ben & Pete Dickinson had a battle against the No.2 Seeds which were Will Hoskin & Freddie Bristowe. Both teams getting lots of balls back made for some exciting rallies with the No.2 seeds taking it 6-5 6-5 to send them into the final. They met the on-form Noah Motz & Erik Barker who took off to a flying start winning the first set 6-0! With Hoskin & Bristowe eager to do better they changed the game plan and started being more aggressive finding themselves at 5 games all. Barker with some great forehand saves from good cut shots kept them in the points where Motz finished the point winning 6-0 6-5 to take the U23… Read the Full Story >