Clarence C. Chaffee Ė William F. Hart Memorial Senior Tennis Championships

July 3 Ė 5, 2009



A new site for the annual seniorís tournament over the Fourth of July weekend in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts brought out some great tennis this past summer. The decision by Williams College not to open their clay courts this season prompted Tournament Director John Clarno to seek a new venue for the popular event.And he was successful in lining up the 5 Har-Tru courts at the Country Club of Pittsfield, for the event, some 30-miles south of Williamstown.The move proved very popular among the players with the Club an easy access from the Mass Pike, along with several major hotels nearby.The Country Club also allowed players the use of their shower facilities and the onsite snack bar.The Clubís banquet room hosted the annual Friday night dinner attended by some 85 players and their families.The dinner costs only $5 per person, thanks to the generous support of the New England Senior Tennis Foundation.The key speaker, retired Colgate College President Neil Grabois, reminisced about the late Williams College Tennis Coach Clarence Chaffee, for whom part of the tournament is named.Dr. Grabois was also a member of the Williams College faculty and administration for many years.


On the courts, there was an anxious moment when Number One Seed Ken Newman of Tequesta, FL, suffered an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) on a changeover in his match with Mark Severs of Hanover, NH, in the Menís 60 Singles category.Newman collapsed and was administered by Dr. Donald McGoldrick of Loudonville, NY, who was also in the tournament.Newman was rushed by ambulance and helicopter to a Springfield, MA, hospital where he spent several days recuperating.Newman tells tournament officials that heíll be back playing tennis before the end of the year and expects to return for next yearís tournament.Severs, who at the time of Newmanís collapse, was leading 6-4 and 6-5, went on to capture the Menís 60 Singles title in a hard-fought and exhausting match over Roger Clark of Providence, RI, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. ††††


Yoshi Akabane of Swampscott, MA, took home the trophy in the Menís 65 Singles draw when Curt Tong of Williamstown, MA, withdrew with a knee injury.Tong had won the first set 6-4, but was trailing 3-0 in the second.


The Menís 70 Singles event was won by Nicholas Ourusoff of New London, NH, over George Lynch of Woodstock, VT, 6-3, 7-5.Lynch did not go home empty-handed however, taking the Menís 70 Doubles title with partner Ray Brodeur of Avon, CT, over Tournament Director John Clarno and his partner Barry Walraven, of Williamstown, MA, 6-0, 6-2.


Don Greenberg of Ithaca, NY, prevailed over George Boyce of Lincoln, RI, in the finals of the Menís 75 Singles, 7-5, 7-5.


One of three players for the Menís 80 Singles draw was unable to attend the tournament, resulting in the title going to Marvin Sears of Westbrook, CT, with a 3-set win over Russell Fink of Annapolis, MD, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.


Round Robin matches were held in both the Menís 55 and 85 Singles.The 55 Singles title went to Edwin Gentzler of Amherst, MA, scoring the highest total under the Round Robin formula, while Michael Ellman of Leverett, MA, finished 2nd, and Jeff Heath of Basking Ridge, NJ, finished 3rd;the 85 Singles Championship saw Yutaka Kobayashi of Wellesley, MA, clinch the top spot by defeating two challengers Ė Emmanuel Pappas of Webster, MA, and Rupert Stow of Hampton Bays, NY, Ė by identical scores 6-1, 6-3.


In the Menís 60 Doubles, Peter Allen of Westborough, MA, and partner Robert Tilley of Weymouth, MA, needed just 2 sets to defeat Jay Ellis of Pittsfield, MA, and Stanley Walker of Boynton Beach, FL, 6-2, 6-2. Two New Hampshire men, Tom Diehl and Whitey Joslin, captured the Menís 65 Doubles in a hard fought two-setter over Kirby Hannan of Delmar, NY, and Donald McGoldrick of Loudonville, NY, 6-4, 7-6 (6). George Boyce of Lincoln, RI, and Richard Mount of Chestnut Hill, MA, defeated Alan McNabb of Pittsfield, MA, and Henry Tiberio of Beverly, MA, 6-4, 6-2, to win the Menís 75 Doubles. Octogenarians Irving Levine of Rehoboth, MA, and Marvin Sears fought their way past Yutaka Kobayashi of Wellesley, MA, and Bix Shoemaker of Mashpee, MA, 6-2, 6-3, to take home the Menís 80 Doubles title. Levine returned to the courts a short time later and teamed with long-time partner Tiberio in a convincing double bagel victory in the Menís 85 Doubles over Emmanuel Pappas of Webster, MA, and Rupert Stow of Hampton Bays, NY.


The brother-sister team of Jeff Heath and Susan Wynn of Charlestown, MA, defeated Carol Lipnick of Southbury, CT, and Charles Morris of Ellington, CT, 6-0, 6-2, in the finals of the Mixed 45 Doubles. The husband-wife team of Howard and Carolyn Peelle of Amherst, MA, beat the number one seeded husband-wife team of Dick and Beverly Canepa of Newburyport, MA, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, in the Mixed 65 Doubles.


While Tournament Director Clarno and his team were very pleased with the courts and facilities at the Country Club of Pittsfield, the site of next yearís tournament has yet to be confirmed.††


The courts at Pittsfield Country Club


Check-in at the tournament


Viewing off the porch at the club house


Submitted by:

Ron Plock

Assistant Tournament Director/Publicity