Sports

A doubles tournament for the ages

Backhand contact is about to be made by Josee Paris in the Kay Wilson Memorial Mixed Doubles Triple Knockout Tournament. Paris and teammate Mike Nichol were put to the test in a match against Al Robinson and Debbie Harit. - Don Bodger
Backhand contact is about to be made by Josee Paris in the Kay Wilson Memorial Mixed Doubles Triple Knockout Tournament. Paris and teammate Mike Nichol were put to the test in a match against Al Robinson and Debbie Harit.
— image credit: Don Bodger

The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club set new guidelines for the Kay Wilson Memorial Mixed Doubles Triple Knockout Tournament and players loved it.

Expanding from the previous maximum of 32 entries to 40 proved hugely popular and even resulted in a waiting list.

The best part? Players of all ages could take part.

“Anyone can play in this one,’’ said tournament director Lynne Cowan. “We had juniors and we definitely had seniors.’’

And everyone else in between jumped on the chance to participate. The 20- to 35-year-olds are normally left out of the club’s tournament calendar of events.

“It mixes up the ages,’’ said Charles Ayers, another member of the tournament committee. “It’s open to any mixed doubles team you can put together.

“One guy was playing with his mom.’’

Two duos actually came off the waiting list to play in the event when confirmed entries dropped out.

The club found it could easily handle the extra number of teams over the three days.

There was only a short blip Friday on the schedule when rain interrupted play.

“We had five matches that weren’t on the grass,’’ said Cowan.

Three of those were played inside the tennis bubble at Arbutus Ridge and two on the South Cowichan hard courts. Otherwise, everything went ahead on the grass.

With 40 entries, it doesn’t break down as evenly as 32. Four events were essentially created instead of three.

“It’s sort of like A, B, C, D,’’ said Ayers.

Todd King and Johane Mui were the winners of the Open or A event with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Nick O’Callaghan and Vera Butakova in the final.

Top place in the Open Plate or B level went to Brian Calvin and Holly Calvin following a 6-4, 6-1 triumph against Robert Mari and Natalia Saavedra in the final.

Daniel Jones and Tracy Stone captured top spot in the Open Special Plate category with a 6-1, 6-4 decision over the son-and-mom team of Julian Sparkes and Carola Daffner.

In the Open Consolation Plate final, the team of Matt Huhtala and Lillian Lamb defeated Fred Kwan and Denise Kwan 6-1, 4-6, 10-7 in a match that went the distance for a decision.

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