The Montreal Racket Club played host to the 2022 edition of the U35 interclub tournament last week. Back where it all began in 2016, this year's tournament was even bigger and better than before. Across the weekend we saw representatives from Boston (6), Detroit (3), Chicago (2) and New York (1) all roll through the iconic Montreal Racket Club door. Even The Queen's Club, England was able to send representation this year; as young Rory Sutton came to join the action. The players, some new to rackets and more their first ever tour, flung themselves with enthusiasm and determination into play.
Tournament play began Friday night with team Montreal facing off against team Detroit and team Boston taking on ‘The rest of the world’. After the first round of matches was complete it was time to build some new off-court friendships by sampling many of Montreal’s famous watering holes, the play had just begun.
Saturday began at 10am sharp with some shaky rackets and a copious consumption of coffee and gatorade in equal measures. However, as heads began to clear, the play improved and the players started to put on exhibition worthy rackets. The ball began to fly around the court and it was great to see some of the less experienced players mesmerized by the quality of the rackets on display.
After an action packed 9 hours of play, the day concluded with a couple of tight matches between Boston and Montreal, the hosts eventually sweeping victory and claiming the winners trophy for the first time. Most importantly; win or lose, it was clear that all involved had a great time and that their rackets had greatly benefited from the experience.
It wouldn't have been a proper Montreal weekend without a typical MRC party, and with All Hallows’ Eve fast approaching, it was time to don costume and get ready for the club’s Halloween spectacular. It was wonderful to see such comradery on show from start to finish. Typifying this was Montreal’s very own Blair ‘Britney’ Barber, who swooped in to steal the weekend’s converted MVP award despite not making it onto the court for any matches this year.
We can all sleep well tonight knowing that the future of Rackets in North America is looking very bright, with all of the young guns showing enthusiasm, persistence and glimpses of on court excellence!