On August 21, 22, 2010, at Hopmeadow Country Club in Simsbury, Connecticut, a powerhouse New England Team handily won the Atlantic Coast Cup in the mens 55's category by a team score of 3-0, by taking 19 out of 21 matches, against Eastern, Middle States, and Mid-Atlantic sections.
The event started exuberantly with a Friday evening exhibition and reception with Ivan Lendl, who lives near the club. Lendl, who is returning to tennis after a 15 year absence, teamed up with local pro Jim Whiting in a spirited match against two satellite circuit players. Lendl will be joining the legends circuit this winter and appeared in good form. We asked if Ivan was old enough to play on our ACC team, since he is a Connecticut resident, but were dismayed to learn he is only 50. We can recruit him in 5 years!!
The match started Saturday morning with New England playing the feared team from Eastern. The New Yorkers' strategy was to load up their doubles lineup. Former Australian top 50 touring pro, John James, teamed up with former NCAA champion, Bob Tanis. New England countered with Phil Kadesh and Jon Bates and were victorious 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. This victory opened up a New England sweep in singles with Mike Kliebhan, Paul Shaw, Wade Frame, and Bill Frost, all in straight sets. Kimm Fisher and Richard Makepeace won at second doubles, and Howie Ames and Al Turner were victorious at third doubles. The final result was a 7-0 sweep of the "Beast from the East."
The second match of the day was against Mid-Atlantic Region. MALTA proved to be tough winning at first and second singles, against Mike Kliebhan and Paul Shaw. However, the New England team swept the remaining matches in straight sets, winning 5-2.
On Sunday, the matches were forced indoors due to a heavy rain. The Simsbury Club hosted the matches without missing a beat. The New Englanders, comfortable with the transition indoors, swept Middle States, 7-0, without losing a set.
The Hopmeadow Country Club was magnificent in their attention to the players needs and were the ultimate hosts. The New Englanders celebrated with many a beer, and were very pleased with the whitewash of the "Damn Yankees" from New York. This is the second straight victory for New England in the Atlantic Coast 55's and we are looking forward to next year's battle in DC.
< Top row - L-R Jon Bates, Richard Makepeace, Phil Kadesh, Mike Kliebhan, Kimm Fisher
Bottom row - seated - Wade Frame, Al Turner, Paul Shaw (Capt.), Bill Frost, Howie Ames
Cocktail party in the parking lot >