Stratford Tennis Club held its annual Masters Doubles tournament over the Sept. 19-21 weekend. The breezy but beautiful conditions led to a great day of play and socializing.
The Men’s Doubles ‘A’ final saw three-time defending champions Bill White and Zdenko Andrekovic taking on Paul Coates and Larry Shurrie.
White, playing for the first time in five weeks due to an arm injury, and Andrekovic advanced to the final by playing a steady game with Andrekovic’s backhand volley being the dominant shot.
Shurrie, who advanced to the final in 2012 with Pat McCarroll, used his big serve and great hands at the net to match with the smart and steady play of Coates to book their spot in the final.
The championship match see-sawed back and forth with both teams holding their service games until it reached four games all. After Andrekovic held his serve for a 5-4 lead, he and White broke Shurrie’s serve to break the match open.
After another service hold, White and Andrekovic broke again to secure their fourth straight Masters title with an 8-4 victory.
The Men’s ‘A’ consolation title match was dominated by Jason Erb and Wayne Carney. The first-year players at the Club rode Erb’s big, lefty serve and Carney’s quickness around the court to dispatch Brent Hiller and Murray Schiedel 8-2 in the final.
The Men’s ‘B’ final went the distance. In the end, Pat McCarroll and Jagdish Patel were able to edge Stuart Arkett and Mike Furlong, 8-7, winning the tie-breaker 7-2 to take the crown.
The Ladies Doubles ‘A’ final was going to see a new champion. Gail Shelton and Cathy Mowbray had advanced to their first final with very impressive wins.
In the final, they would face Ginny Smith and Janet Bradley. Bradley is in her first season at the Club and teamed up with long-time member Smith to out-steady opponents on their way to the final.
The championship match was as close as it can get. Neither team could get an advantage as the match advanced to the inevitable tie-breaker to decide the title.
Smith and Bradley jumped out to a big lead in the breaker, but fending off match points Shelton and Mowbray got back into the match.
At six points to five, Smith and Bradley had one more match point and this time got the job done. The 8-7 (seven points to five in the tie-breaker) win gave the Smith and Bradley the 2014 championship.
The Ladies ‘A’consolation champions are Nancy Chung and Erma Weernink, who downed Barb Thibeault and Allison Hiller. The final featured many long rallies but in the end, Chung and Weernink claimed the title with an 8-5 victory.
The Ladies ‘B’ final was also a long, close match. The title eventually was won by Monica Eickmeyer and Marilyn Leasa, who downed Liana DeJong and Lindsay Murray eight games to six.
The Ladies ‘B’ consolation final saw first time tournament entrants Gayle Brooks and Liz Yundt take out Caryn Scott and Noella Schiedel 8-3 to win the crown.
Play was followed by a wonderful pot-luck supper, with music and laughter ending a great day at the Club.