Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gulf Harbour Club Championship Doubles

Men’s A
Geoff, Chip, Bill, Arnie
photo by GH Staff
Three of the five matches in Men’s A Division were three-setters, but not the two played by eventual champs, Chip Graddy and Geoff Negin. Chip (the Men’s A Singles Champion) and Geoff (former Men’s A Singles Champion) were just too strong for the field, beating Maxwell Thompson and John Hess 6-2, 6-3 in the semis, and defeating Arnie Wohl and Bill Wright, 6-2, 6-2 in the Final.

I believe Chip has now won seven of the eight Club Championship events he has played at Gulf Harbour, the only loss coming in Mixed Doubles last season against Alan Canfield and Deb Naumann. Chip is likely to be chasing his second Triple Crown in three years next month in the Mixed. That’s some record!

Women’s A
Kathy, Diane, Janie, Jemin, Frank Fourgeau in chair
Photo by GH Staff
The story was fairly similar in the top Women’s Division. Diane Johannes and Kathy Karofsky didn’t drop a set en route to their Championship, despite a stiff test (7-5, 6-4) in the semis against Pam Waddell and Marcia Devries. The champs downed Janie Heck and Jemin Martinsen, 6-2, 6-3, in the Final. Diane and Kathy were the Singles Champion and Singles Semifinalist, respectively, so their triumph was no surprise.

From all accounts, the big story of this division was the stellar play of Lili Canfield and Pam Lemon, who pulled off two upsets to reach the semis. In a match I wish I had seen, in the quarterfinals, Lili and Pam outlasted Janet Craycraft and Deb Naumann 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. They, then, gave Finalists Janie Heck and Jemin Martinsen a run for their money in the semis before falling 2-6, 6-7.

Men’s B
Rich M, Rich F, Tim B, Tim J
Photo by GH Staff
The Men’s B Final was the case of too many “Riches” for the “Tims.” The match between Champions Rich Meyers and Rich Fox versus Tim Jones and Tim Baldwin was shaping up to be a war of attrition, and then Jones made a heroic effort to scoop up a short ball deftly placed by Meyers.

Jones’ mighty effort resulted in a nasty fall, and despite his will to continue, the body just wouldn’t comply. Meyers and Fox claimed the event in sad fashion, 5-4, retired. Given the way Meyers was flying around the court, it would have been a tough victory for the Tims in any event. I’m sure they would love to have battled to the end though. 

Women’s B
Monde, Martha, Ann, Jan
Photo by GH Staff
A dominant duo pocketed the Women’s B Division, when Jan Carlson and Ann Wright dropped no more than four games in any of their matches en route to the title.
Their stiffest test in the event was the Final, in which they downed Mondé Breton and Martha DeLeeuw 6-1, 6-3. 

Mondé and Martha, themselves, had not dropped a set prior to the Final, but had been tested in the first set of the first round by Ruth Edelman and Norma Schuyler, winning that one 7-6. Overcoming the well-established and very talented team of Jan and Ann was a bit much for Mondé and Martha, who were playing together for the first time.

Men’s C
Don, Ron J, Bernie, Ron G, Frank in Chair
Photo by GH Staff
Ron Graham and Bernie Klotz proved to be the cream of the Men’s C crop, taking the Final 6-1, 6-0 over Ron Jones and Don Pitts. Tony Cupaiuolo and Fran Kelly did give Jones and Klotz something to think about in the first set of their semifinal match, pushing the first set to 5-7 before falling 2-6 in the second.

Although winning matches and championships is what tourneys are about, sometimes there are greater victories to be had. One such victory would have to be the return of Ted Hudzik to the courts after a protracted layoff due to more pain in the knees than I could possibly stand! It gladdened my heart to see Ted, who partnered with Jim Didonna, not only in the draw, but also getting a tough 6-4, 7-6 win in his first match against “Dapper” Don Mattcheck and Jim Heck. Way to go Ted!

Women’s C
Liz, Meg, Lori, Nancy
Photo by GH Staff
Nancy Davis and Lori Frantz earned a hard-fought victory over Liz Byck and Meg Jacobs in the Women’s C Final, losing the first set 2-6, before grabbing the final two, 6-4, 6-1. Liz and Meg had had another nail-biter in the semis, beating Jackie Jewel and Kathy McKinley 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

It was Lori’s second tough, three-set win against Meg in the past few weeks, as she scraped by Meg in the semis of the Singles event last month, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, en route to the first championship victory of the season. If Lori can claim the Mixed Doubles title, she will join the select few who have accomplished the Triple Crown, and, depending on where she plays, perhaps the first to do so in the C Division.

The Mixed Doubles Championships will be held the second weekend in March, and I'm sure the drama will be no less intense in those events. Game, set, match...T A

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