On a beautiful summer Saturday, the international teams from Quebec, Canada and New England gathered at the Quechee Club in Vermont to play the annual Friendship Cup.
With the men’s teams competing from the age 45 up to the age 80, they started us old guys first in the morning. I was supposed to play singles first, but due to an injury on the opponent, they asked to play their doubles first; so I started off with my doubles match at 9:30 a.m.
Whitey Joslin and I teamed up, as we did last year, against a solid team from Quebec. Their strengths were there consistency an excellent lobs. Once we figured to stand back a little, we were able to control the match and won 6–3 6–3.
In the mostly – singles first round matches, the team from Quebec took an early 15–10 match lead.
With the threat of tropical storm named Bill bringing all day rain tomorrow, they tried to get all 57 matches in on Saturday. So, I waited until 3:30 PM and went on the court for my singles match against Paul Roberge, who I played in doubles in the morning.
Paul is a solid singles player, with an excellent crosscourt forehand and runs very well. He said afterwards that his best shot is his drop shot, but he couldn’t get it in today.
The Easiest Shot
My strategy was, as it is in most singles matches: Hit my forehand. I did my best Jim Courier imitation and was able to do that, especially on his second serve. As most coaches will tell you, that is usually the easiest shot you will get… a soft ball, landing short, that you can run around and hit a strong forehand.
I did that and was able to control the match for a 6–3 6–3 victory.
The pictures show the results through about 6:30 p.m… when I went to the cocktail party and some doubles matches were still going on (double click on them to get a bigger view). I learned later that our American team had come back to tie the score at 26 matches all – with five matches left to be played on Sunday (weather permitting).
LATE BREAKING NEWS: 1:00 pm Sunday. Whitey Joslin called to report that the teams split the first four doubles matches; so it came down to one dubs in the 45s for the Championship. And in a tight and tough match, the Canadians came out on top (for the first time in many years!). See them next year in Montreal.
The Women’s Team
At the same time as we played, the American women, including newly retired Wheaton College Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Lynn Miller, were besting the Canadians by a final score of 13-7!
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