2008 Friendship Cup Provides Drama

by Ray Brodeur

 

On Saturday, June 22 at the Grey Rocks Resort, Quebec hosted New England in the Friendship Cup.  The day started out cloudy but by 9 am on Saturday, the skies cleared and the sun popped out.  With 10 clay courts and 32 singles matches to be played, the men began play at 9 am and finished around 3 pm.  The results for the men at the end of the first day were Quebec 17 wins, New England 15 wins.

The women were the smarter ones on Saturday.  Because of the forecast of rain at 80% for Sunday, they decided to play both singles and doubles on Saturday.  Since their combined number of matches is 24 for both singles and doubles versus 48 for the men, it was accomplished in time to make the cocktail hour.

 

At 6 PM a cocktail hour was held on the lakefront outdoors but was quickly moved indoors to the Wheeler Room at Grey Rocks when there was a threat of heavy rains any moment.  The buffet dinner started at 7 pm.  The New England Women's team defeated Quebec 16 to 8 and were presented with their trophy at dinner. 

 
After dinner, both the men and women exchanged gifts with their Canadian opponent which they faced earlier in the day on the court.
 
On Sunday, everyone awoke to very heavy rain wiping out any possibility of the courts drying out in time to hold play outdoors.  So everyone got in their cars and drove 73 miles to Tennis 13 in Montreal.  This indoor complex had 14 courts and play started around noon and finished around 4 pm.  It was a very exciting day of doubles. Quebec needed to win 8 of the 16 doubles to clinch the Cup.  With two matches remaining, one in the 50s and the other in the 70s, the US lead 8 matches to 6. If NE won the final two matches they wold win the cup.  In the 50s match, Al Turner and Wade Frame won 7-5, 6-1.  It was now Quebec 23, NE 24.  Gene Wheeler and Alex Aitchison, who at age 77 was playing down for the second time in the day played valiantly with everyone looking on and cheering every point.  In the end, Quebec won the match 6-2, 7-5.  The Cup was now tied at 24 matches each.  Since Quebec won by a margin of 3 in all sets played, Quebec was declared the winner of the Friendship Cup for 2008.  It was NE's first loss since 1996

 

See pictures below:

Captain Alan Turner's album of pictures on the Friendship Cup can be accessed at http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/klsDbHDG/4887259/2258000.

 

Captain Al Turner serving

Tommie George waiting for a shot

Good fun at the Banquet

More good cheer at the banquet

The Women's team and their trophy

Paul Young, co-captain Ken Moulton, Don Frahm, Alex Atchison, and

Gene Wheeler