This was the weekend for fathers to play in the New England vs. Quebec 50th annual Friendship Cup, played at Chuck Kinyon’s Quechee Club in Vermont.
To manage the number of matches that needed to be played for singles and doubles in age groups from 45 to 80, some of us played singles on Saturday and others doubles. My 70s singles was vs. Fernand Martin (who I believe was #5 in Quebec in the 65s last year).
As the headline says, he was Bigger, Better, and Younger than me; and controlled the match for a 6-3, 6-2 victory in about an hour and a half of my chasing the ball corner to corner.
At the end of the day, Quebec led 20 matches to 16.
For 70s doubles, I was teamed with Bill White (Boston), who I met for the first time on Saturday. We discussed and decided all the “administrative details” of pairing up… I would play the ad court, we would use signals, etc.
Our doubles match was vs. the Quebec team captain, Lucien Demarais and Claude Savaria. Lucien had beaten my doubles partner the day before in a long singles match. They both had great hands and LOBS; and while Claude couldn’t run great, Lucien could run almost everything down.
The first set was a struggle, with them taking it in a tiebreaker. On the changeover, my partner Bill suggested we switch returning sides, to put him where he was more comfortable in the ad court. It seemed to work as we took a two-break, 4-1 lead.
Legs, Who’s Got The Legs?
But Bill had told me at the start of our two-hour match that his legs were tired from his Saturday singles; so I tried to cover as much as I could. But our opponents got everything back, both volleys and lobs… and I lost my legs too! They came back to win the last five games for a 7-6, 6-4 victory.
When Bill and I crawled off the court, we were pleased to see that our loss had not put the Americans behind; but rather we were up by two matches with two matches still on the court. Since the Quebecers won the cup last year, a tie would go to them; so we had to win one of the two matches left.
We did. And I hopped in my van and drove back to Lake Sunapee!
Thanks to our team captain, Mike Kolendo for all his work putting together the team. Chuck and his Club also did a fantastic job hosting the event; and add that to the perfect location, one would hope they could continue to host the event every odd year!
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