New England Wins USTA 55ís Atlantic Coast Cup
by Paul Shaw ,
NE Team Captain
, NE Team Captain
The† USTA 55ís Atlantic Coast Cup was held on August, 15, 16, 2009 at Dupont Country Club at Wilmington, Delaware. It was hosted by the Middle States with Bill Carpenter as their Captain and host. The date was changed from July 15 in order to secure a more favorable venue for the event. Most importantly the four sections agreed to change the format from single elimination to round robin as in the 45 Atlantic Coast. This would assure that each section played the other three sections in head to head competition and that most players would play three matches.
The most difficult thing about the event was getting there. Most players traveled on Friday which meant navigating the New Jersey turnpike on a Friday afternoon, which turned out to be a traffic nightmare. Most of the team practiced on Friday but a few players missed practice and had to train† with the local Yeungling beer.
The first match against Mid-Atlantic turned out to be the closest and decisive battle. The weather was a factor as it reached 95 degrees and jars of pickle juice were on standby!! New England got off to a quick start with decisive wins at second and third singles by Joe Bouquin and Bill Frost. Joe beat an illustrious former New Englander, John Mayotte, brother of tour player Tim Mayotte, 6-4, 6-1. Peter† Allen and Tommy George then lost at three doubles after Tommy got injured. Then Al Turner and Jon Bates lost a close three setter at first doubles followed by a great three set win by Bob McKinley and George Deptula at second doubles 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. With New England ahead 3-2, Phil Kadesh lost a close three setter to Bill Moldoch at first singles. With the score tied at 3-3, Paul Shaw (Captain) at fourth singles had just finished winning a first set in one and a half hours, 7-5. After the first set, he got a jar of pickle juice from a teammate and cruised through the second set while his opponent cramped up. Of course he didnít share the secret healing powers of pickle juice with his opponent until after the match!!
The second match started at 2:30PM against Middle States and the temperature was soaring. With New England up 6-0, Peter Macpartland was in a lengthy singles battle. After splitting sets, his opponent wanted to split the point or to play a super tie-breaker, given that his team had already lost. New England opted to play out the match as the extra point could prove decisive in the event of a head to head tie. Also, Peter is known for his marathon match endurance and perseverance. As it turned out, his opponent retired at 4-0 in the third and New England had the sweep.
The next day, New England was set to play Eastern which had won the competition the previous year. The East had lost to MALTA the previous day, but a New England loss would create a three way tie with Eastern and Mid-Atlantic. As it turned out, New England had a decisive win 5-2 and finished 3-0 in head to head competition. At singles, Kadesh, Bouquin and Shaw won in straight sets. In doubles, Jon Bates/ Al Turner and George Deptula /Howie Ames won in straight sets as well. A very satisfying and rare win for New England was finished off with a round (or two) of Yeungling!! New England will host next year.
The New England 55 Atlantic Coast Cup Team