NE Senior Grass Slam at Newport

September 9-12, 2013

The NE Senior Grass Slam, as expected, had fewer entries than Grass Slams in past years, mostly due to it being played solely during the week with no weekend play.

However, there was some great competition and the weather was quite cooperative with only a shower on Tuesday morning, resulting in almost all matches being played on the grass.Also, the grass condition was in good shape as some courts had been renovated last year.

Menís Singles

Menís 50 singles had only three entries and played round robin.Robbins Tien won both his matches to take the crown with Andrew Trauba winning one match to be the finalist.

Menís 55 singles had some very close matches.In the semis, #2 seed Harlan Stone defeated Michael McDonnell from Delaware 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.McDonnell also had a three setter which he won in his first round over Mark Lueders 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. In the other semi, 1st seed Wade Frame had an easier time, defeating Eliot Campbell 6-1, 6-0.The final was a very hard fought match with Stone upsetting Frame 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to take the crown.

Menís 60 singles was interesting.Unseeded Larry Parker from northern California ran away with it without losing a set and only lost four games total!Then we found out that he is the brother of #1 national 70 singles player Jimmy Parker! Tennis talent must run in the family!

In the semis, Parker defeated Paul Butke 6-0, 6-0.In the other semi, Tom Carey defeated Tom Smith 6-2, 6-1.Parker then defeated Carey in the final 6-2, 6-1.Carey took 3 out of the 4 games that Parker lost in the tournament! Dan Heitzman won the 60 consolation singles with a tough three set win over Jay Lubker.

Men's 55 singles winner Harlan Stone with finalist Wade Frame


Men's 60 singles winner Larry Parker with finalist Tom Carey

Men's 65 singles winner Laury Hammel.  He is ecstatic as he has also won the 65 singles triple slam!

Men's 70 singles finalist Phil Rockwell with winner Walter Beatty

Lines have to be refreshed every morning!

Men's 70 consolation winner Ken Miller with finalist Alan Gardner


Menís 65 singles also had some interesting matches.In the semis, Laury Hammel defeated George Deptula in a squeaker, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.In the other semi, Gary Chafetz defeated Bill Ewen 6-1, 6-1.Hammel then defeated Chafetz in the final, 6-2, 6-2.Laury not only won the 65 singles crown, but he also won a ďtriple slamĒ, i.e someone who won all the Slam events in a category in the same year.Laury was ecstatic Ė big congrats to him! He will receive a special trophy next summer at the awards ceremony at Newport.

Menís 70 singles also had some great competition and probably the strangest point in the tournament.In the first round with Phil Rockwell playing Ken Miller, Miller was at net ready to take a volley when he looked up to see Rockwell lying on the ground as he had slipped.Miller was startled and ended up hitting the volley near lying down Rockwell.Rockwell stuck out his racquet and sent a perfect lob over Millerís head for a winner!Rockwell went on to win the match in three hours and three sets.

Rockwell had an easier time in the semis, defeating 2nd seed and doubles partner George Lynch 6-1, 6-3.In the other semi, 1st seed Walter Beatty defeated Rod Taylor 6-1, 7-5.Beatty prevailed over Rockwell in the final, 6-2, 6-2. Miller won the consolation singles with straight set wins over Rob Chase and Alan Gardner.

Menís Doubles

Menís 55 doubles also featured a strange point.In the semis, unseeded Peter Lyons and Stan Mescon had match point on 1st seeds Kimm Fisher and Richard Makepeace.Peter was serving and there were some good exchanges on the point when Makepeace hit a lob that drifted in the wind higher and deeper than Mescon anticipated.He jumped and stretched and as he made contact with the ball, his racquet came out of his hand and the ball feathered over the net and died.Mescon and Lyons shook hands and went to the net to congratulate Fisher and Makepeace on a very competitive match.Fisher asked Mescon if he was actually holding the racquet during contact.As he thought about it, he could not be sure so the point was awarded to Fisher and Makepeace and play continued.Fisher and Makepeace fought hard and brought the set to a tiebreaker which Lyons and Mescon won resulting in a final score of 6-2, 7-6(3).

In the other semi, unseeded Scott Anderson and Mark Lueders upset 2nd seeds Greg Garrison and John Voikos 7-5, 5-7, 6-3. In the finals, Lyons and Mescon defeated Lueders and Anderson 6-4, 6-4.In the consolation final, Garrison and Voikos defeated David Foster and Michael McQuaid 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(3).

Men's 55 doubles finalists Scott Anderson and Mark Lueders with winners Peter Lyons and Stan Mescon

Men's 55 consolation doubles winners John Voikos and Greg Garrison

Men's 60 doubles winners Gene Chappell and Stephen Campbell

Men's 65 doubles winners George Ulrich and George Deptula


Tournament volunteer helper Rich Heath


Men's 70 doubles finalists John Swan and Ted Underwood

Men's 60 doubles had three entries that played round robin.  Stephen Campbell and Gene Chappell won both their matches to win the title.  They had a tough match against Robert Miller and Paul Shaw pervailing 7-6, 3-6, 7-5.

Menís 65 doubles only had two entries and George Deptula and George Ulrich defeated Ken Newman and Joe Brooke 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

There were three menís 70 doubles teams that played round robin.Walter Beatty and Jerry Whitlock won both their matches to win the 70 doubles.Their match with Ted Underwood and John Swan was not easy, however, with Beatty and Whitlock prevailing 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5).Swan and Underwood defeated George Lynch and Phil Rockwell 6-4, 6-4 and were thus the finalists.

Womenís Singles and Doubles

There were only two women entered in 50 singles and Grace Bocicelio defeated Laura Parziale 6-1, 6-1.Welcome to the Slams, Grace!

In womenís 60 singles, unseeded Chris Parker (Larryís wife) defeated Eszter Chase 6-0, 4-1 (retired) in one semi.In the other, 2nd seed Michelle Immler defeated Dorcas Miller 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.In the final, Parker defeated Immler 7-5, 6-4.Both Parkers won their event!

TD Gibby Harnett congratulating women's 60 singles winner Chris Parker

The women's NE 60 players

Women's 60 doubles champions Jessie von Hippel and Judy Smith (on the ends) with finalists Eszter Chase and Michelle Immler


Womenís 60 doubles also had an amazing story.In one semi, 2nd seeds Janet Clay and Carolyn Fournier were defeated by 75+ players Judy Smith and Jessie von Hippel 6-3, 6-4.In the other semi, 1st seeds Eszter Chase and Michelle Immler defeated Louise Gerhart and Dorcas Miller 6-1, 6-0.In the final, Smith and von Hippel squeaked out a victory 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 to take the title! Talk about playing down -- great job!In the consolation, Clay and Fournier defeated Gerhart and Miller 6-0, 6-2.

The Party

Seniors like to party and socialize. This makes the whole tournament more enjoyable as the players talk about their matches and their wins and defeats.Also, the food and drink make the festivities great.

The party was held on the balcony above the office and and overlooking the courts.Dorcas and Ken Miller managed the drawing with some nice prizes, e.g. racquets, ďmystery bagsĒ, tennis bags and more.A good time was had by all!


A mystery bag -- what was in it?



The prizes -- stemless engraved wine glasses



Ken and Dorcas Miller with TD Gibby Harnett -- he did a great job!



Enjoying the party!