While Montreal is never an easy act to follow, young racquets players from all over North America had Halloween weekend circled on the calendar for the 2023 U35 Inter-club Tournament at the Boston Tennis and Racquet Club. With 24 players for the tournament and representation from Montreal (8), New York (4), Detroit (4), Boston (8) and Queens Club (the ageless, Benjamin Button of Racquets, Rory Sutton, even made an appearance!), this year’s tournament did not disappoint.
Friday started with collegial games and a doubles clinic taught by World Champion Neil Smith. Following some spirited friendly matches, teams were picked by captains across the four clubs represented for tournament play – Team Boston, Team Detroit, Team Montreal and Team New York. Each team was
made up of three pairs from all different clubs and skill-levels ranging from beginner to the higher standard set by New York fellow James Rossiter. From there, the players and professionals headed out to a tournament dinner and a night out in Boston.
On Saturday, tournament play began at 9am sharp. Each match was best-of-three with rally scoring to 11, ensuring significant court time for all players. As the day wore on, players shook off the night before and the match-level standard continued to improve. There were some great matches across teams and pairs, with newer players making great strides on the court and cheering on from the gallery for some of the weekend’s best rallies. As tournament day 1 wrapped-up, Saturday evening started with a formal dinner for 30 participants followed by Halloween parties across the city of Boston.
On Sunday, play started at 10am with an even mix of walkovers and ever-improving play. The tournament ended in the early afternoon with Team Boston taking home the victory by the narrowest of margins. This year’s U35 inter-club tournament was a resounding success with all players building camaraderie on and off the court. A special shoutout to the Montreal Racquet Club for leading the from the front with 8 players making the trip and some of the best Halloween costumes seen for quite some time.
This is a great tournament for young North American racquets players of all skill-levels and this year’s amazing event would not have been possible without the generous support from NARA and the organization and execution from the Tennis and Racquet Club Professionals Leon Smart, Neil Smith and George Sawrey-Cookson. In addition, Boston racquets legend Stephen Merwin stepped up to plan all of the social events surrounding the tournament – a huge contributing factor to this year’s great tournament.
I am already looking forward to the 2024 U35 interclub tournament and we hope to see all of you in Boston for the World Doubles Racquets Championship in Boston on 11/29 through 12/2.