Monday, March 12, 2012

Gulf Harbour Wraps-up 2012 Club Championships

Spectators enjoy proceedings
This spectator seems a little bored
I think we could take the Ball Bashers
Those in attendance (and there was some of everything and everyone in attendance including canines, reptiles, and even a GM!) were treated 

to another scintillating spring morning of tennis as Gulf Harbour Tennis wrapped up its Club Championships, with the Mixed Doubles Finals this past Sunday. The final matches in each of the four divisions were competitive affairs cheered on by the standing-room only crowd.
GM Lonnie Eberhard & Director Mike Curran

All Aces Division 
Chip prepares to rip forehand with Ella at net
At the highest level of play, the All Aces Division, Chip Graddy was partnered with Pam “Ella” Waddell in his attempt to capture his second trifecta (winning singles, doubles, and mixed) in three years. He would have been seeking his third consecutive trifecta had he not fallen one championship short last year when Alan Canfield and Deb Naumann wrested the Mixed Doubles title from him and partner Jemin Martinsen.

Ella shows off her own forehand
With Jemin sidelined with an injury, Chip teamed with Ella, a first-time competitor in the Club Championships. They faced Maxwell Thompson and Diane Johannes who had taken out defending Champions Alan Canfield and Deb Naumann in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Both Maxwell and Diane have been Club Champions themselves, and with Maxwell’s intimidating forehand and lighting forays at net, combined with Diane’s all around skill, it was an anticipated match-up.

Maxwell blasts one while Di waits to poach
After four games, the match was 2-2 and it appeared as though it would be a see-saw battle throughout. When Chip and Ella pulled away to reach 5-2, it seemed as though initial appearances were deceiving. However, like the champions they are, Maxwell and Diane fought back, tying the contest at 5-5. A hold and a break of Maxwell’s serve clinched the first set for Chip and Ella.

When Maxwell and Diane went up 3-0, momentum seemed to be swaying in their direction, but it didn't last. A hold, a break, a hold, and it was even again. The teams traded holds until a final break clinched the title for Chip and Ella.

Ball Bashers Flight A
Lili poaches
In the Ball Bashers Flight A, the second highest level of play, former Champion Lili Canfield teamed with Rich Fox to challenge Frank Kaplan and Monde Breton, both former Club Champions in Singles. Both teams reached the finals by posting, at least, mild upsets en route.

Lili & Rich 
Rich and Lili beat Tom and Bev Auda 6-3, 6-3 in one semifinal, and even if winning wasn’t a big upset, the score and straight-set victory was a mild surprise to some. Likewise, the manner of Frank and Monde’s win over Eddie Dance and Amy Ciarrocchi (6-2, 6-1) was certainly a surprise to most.

Frank & Monde
It should have been no surprise, then, that the final match turned out to be the most competitive, as far as the score anyway, that either team had faced throughout the event. Frank and Monde went up a break and served at 4-3, but Rich and Lili fought back to get a break of their own. Frank and Monde broke right back and held with Monde serving to claim the first set.

Frank & Monde
Rich and Lili started strong in the second set, maintaining the lead throughout and claiming it 6-2. Things tightened considerably in the third set, and Monde and Frank went up 4-3, but Lili’s reputation for toughness is well-earned and there are few more consistent that “The Good Doctor” Fox. Rich and Lili didn’t lose another game, claiming the third set and the championship, 6-4.

Ball Bashers Flight B
David & Ruth congratulate Linda & Tom
In the Ball Bashers Flight B, defending Champions Tom and Linda VanWyk were seeking to repeat against David Martin and Ruth Edelman. The VanWyk’s had had a good semifinal test against David Russ and Lori Frantz, winning a close 7-6, 7-5 battle. But David and Ruth had a bumpy road to the championship match, with perhaps the toughest back-to-back tests of the entire event.  

David & Ruth
In the quarters, David and Ruth pulled out a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 comeback against Art Ackert and Joan Palermo, then had to come back later that day in the semis to face the cagey and difficult duo of Preston and Carlotta Clark. That semifinal match was a war of attrition, and David and Ruth finally prevailed in a third-set super-tiebreak, 11-9, after winning the first set 6-4 and losing the second 5-7.

Tom & Linda
The VanWyks present a conundrum for any team with Tom and his eagle-like wingspan patrolling the net, and Linda presenting a practically impregnable wall in both back and fore court. Strategically, the VanWyks have figured out how to maximize their on-court partnership almost as well as they have their off- court merger. The riddle was too much for David and Ruth to solve, and the VanWyks repeated with a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Court Crashers Division  
Ron & Marvel
In the Court Crashers Division, Ron and Marvel Jones had gotten past a good test in Scott Schmidt and Linda Riedl in the semis, winning that match 7-5, 6-3, and would face the talented couple Mark Davis and Jackie Jewel. Mark and Jackie had had little trouble in their semifinal against Sy and Nancy Davis, winning 6-1, 6-1, and felt good about their chances going into the final.

Mark poaches & Jackie crosses
After many years of playing together, the Joneses have figured out how to get the best from their on-court partnership as well, and it tool Mark and Jackie a while to figure out how to combat this tough twosome. Ron and Marvel won the first set 6-3, but Mark and Jackie stiffened, taking the second to a tiebreak before losing the set and the Championship.  

Sergio keeps court in playing shape
The family that works together
stays together: The Currans
All in all, the Mixed Doubles Championship Weekend was a fitting climax to the season’s Club Championships. The participants and the spectators seemed to enjoy the weekend’s activities as much as they appear to every year! Congrats to Mike Curran and his capable staff (Frank Fourgeau, Sergio Rebolledo, Fernando Jimenez, and Laurie Giordano) for another successful Gulf Harbour event, and surely a note of thanks must go out to Marne for her refreshing presence. The event wouldn’t be what it was without her. 
Lauren Bailey, Ballgirl

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