I wish you could have been in North Hatley last week. It was Tennis Week at the North Hatley Club and you, so far away, missed the excitement, the fun, the drama that makes this week the highlight of the tennis and social season.
It started last Sunday under a sunny sky with thirty mixed doubles and men’s singles matches. Of the fourteen seeds advancing, Amanda Jelowicki (remember her yummy chocolate caramel squares?) and Adrian Dunn were most impressive in a 6-0, 6-0 win over . . hmmm, I forget. Then in the next round on Monday, they ran into an unheralded team, Erika Marosi and Ryan Lynam. Why were Erika and Ryan playing with other than their spouses? Because playing doubles tennis with your spouse is a risk that many couples would rather not take. Anyway, Amanda and Adrian ran into a buzzsaw there and were on the short end of a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 score.
On Tuesday, we saw the long-awaited return of Duncan Cameron in Men’s Singles. It had been years since his last appearance and we had given up hope of seeing that sweet swing again. After subduing Justin Stebbins he ran into young unknown Oscar Roy. Whew, what a match and a bit of a surprise for Duncan. Oscar not only knows how to hit a tennis ball, he knows how to hit it where his opponent is not. This made it very difficult for Duncan, especially since he expected a smoother ride in the early rounds. (You were there a couple of years ago when Duncan’s brother Phil ran into a similar roadblock in an early round against a young Molson – Henry, I believe.) Long story short – it was a great match, with fast paced exchanges. Oscar 6-3, 6-4. Some on the hill said it was the best match of the week.
Wednesday featured Men’s Doubles. Third seed Andrew Kandel and Ryan Lynam had advanced to the ¼ finals. How could they know that Geoff had recruited second son Will to replace Henry as his partner. Surprise! 6-2, 6-2 Molsons. While this was going on the Ladies’ Singles started. Second seed Fiona Macaulay gained the advantage over Lex Gallagher in the second longest match in recent NH Club history- a three set victory. Fiona went on to the final on Thursday, where she bested first seed Sue Tunnell in another three setter; this time the longest final in recent NH Club history. That’s a lot of time on court!
Ladies Doubles Friday. Well, you could guess. Yes – again! We may have to wait for the next generation to upset Kate Molson and Claire Webster. Sue Tunnell and Nancy Wells will dig deep into their bag of tricks again next year, but their goblets may still say “Finalist”.
Olive Oil, you wouldn’t believe how lucky we were with the weather. It rained, but only when we were sleeping. Mother Nature loves Tennis Week!
Saturday dawned cloudy and cool. The championship court was soft and the crowd small when unseeded Geoff and Will Molson confronted first seed Ewen Cameron and Phil Cote. Word spread quickly that this was a match not to miss. The Molsons won the first set 6-3. Cameron and Cote adjusted strategy to take the second 6-2. In the third, Ewen faced three match points serving at 4-5. Was this the end? No! He reeled off three points to save the game. The tiebreaker that followed went to the wire before Geoff and Will prevailed at 7-5. All four players received a standing ovation from the now full house of appreciative members on the hill.
As Geoff took a dip in the lake in an effort to recoup his energy for the Mixed final, the aforementioned Oscar, who had only surrendered 11 games in four previous rounds, took to the court against 2012 champion and often finalist Dave Marosi. Olive Oil, the lad is for real. It was high quality tennis, with long exchanges and Oscar winning 6-1, 6-0. There’s a new sheriff in town and it looks like he’s planning to stay!
Claire and Stuart Webster took the court to defend their oft’ won Mixed Doubles title against their Massawippi neighbors, Kate and Geoff Molson. The Websters are very possessive of their title and made it clear early in the match that a superb effort would be required to wrest it away. There was a plethora of exciting exchanges at the net. When it was over, Claire and Stuart prevailed again, 6-3,6-4.
Love you, sweetheart. Come back soon and no more being away from North Hatley in Tennis Week!