Friendship Cup 2009

 

by Ray Brodeur

 

On June 27-28, under dark menacing clouds and the constant threat of rain, New England hosted Quebec in the 2009 Friendship Cup at the Waterville Valley Tennis and Ski Resort in Waterville Valley, NH. Worries about the weather quickly dissipated as play got underway on Saturday morning for both men and women on 14 red clay courts which except for three courts due to too much rain were in good condition.The rain held off on Saturday long enough for all 32 menís singles matches to be completed.The score at the end of the day had Quebec in the lead with 17 wins to New Englandís 15.The winners on the New England side were Don Frahm, Dave Lowry, Ray Brodeur, Joe Holmes, Walt Beatty, Tom Bell, Pete Allen, Dave Unger, Ken Moulton, Joe Bouquin, Paul Shaw, Pete McPartland, George Lagos, Dave Malbornie and Dave Wright.In the 45 age category, Dave Wrightís win was a real good one.He came from behind after a 45 minute rain delay in the third set to win 7-5 against a tough opponent Michelle Lortie.

 

The dinner on Saturday night was a big success and was held at the resortís Coyote Grill.Rain washed out the poolside cocktail hour but not the camaraderie and chat between the two teams inside the restaurant where the food by all accounts was above average.Because of the restaurantís room configuration, it was decided to exchange gifts on Sunday morning prior to doubles play.The Quebec and American players both received quick dry white hats and shirts embroidered with the USTA logo on the front and Friendship Cup 2009 on the left sleeve under the crossed US and Canadian Flags.The New England shirts had the added initials ďPVĒ on the right sleeve in tribute to Pete Vieira who participated for decades in this competition and was captain of the team for some years.Kudos to the current captains, Ken Moulton and Al Turner for coming up with the idea

 

The New Englanders also received from Quebec a navy blue quick dry shirt with the words Coupe de LíAmitie, Quebec vs New England on the front.

 

On Sunday, the Americans fell one match short in the 15 doubles matches played.New England led 8 to 7 with one match not played due to an injury.Quebec led 24-23. Even if NE had won that match, Quebec would have broken the tie by winning two more sets than the Americans.Of note in the doubles competition, Wade Frame and Chris Holmes defeated the reigning Canadian National 50s Champions, Patrice Rousso and Cary Willson in 3 sets.After losing in straight sets in singles to David Thompson, George Lynch gained some revenge in doubles by teaming with Ray Brodeur and defeating Thompson and Francois Godbout, a former Canadian Davis Cupper, in a tight match winning 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7).Nonetheless, for the second consecutive year, Quebec takes home the Cup by the width of a racquet string as they won by two sets in 2008 to break a 24 all match tie. The Cup had remained in New Englandís hands for 11 straight years from 1997 through 2007.

 

The Womenís team won handily with the details coming in a later edition of breaking news.

 

For the matches in 2010 in Quebec, menís captains Moulton and Turner have already sequestered themselves in top management meetings on how to terminate this 2 year downward slide.The players would like to thank the NE Senior Tennis Foundation for its contribution to making this international event such a success.

 

Pictures from the Cup are below:

 

Wade Frame starting his service motion

George Lagos hitting a forehand

Rob Miller hitting a forehand

Paul Shaw and Co-captain Al Turner

Dave Wright preparing to return serve

Pete McPartland going for a ride

Dick Mount, Julia Lynch and George Lynch

Al Turner, Pete Allen and Tommie George

Ray Brodeur, Pete McPartland, Joe Bouquin and Dave Lowry

Dinner for 10

The Men's Friendship Cup Team

Dinner for 7