Ken Rickson Memorial Senior Championships at the Quincy Tennis Club

by Ted Underwood

 

The brick red clay courts and quiet neighborhood setting of the Quincy Tennis Club  (one of the oldest in the Boston area dating to 1887) were once again the site for the 65 and 70 Senior Tournament which this year was renamed in memory of the former director Ken Rickson who passed away last December.  For many years Ken made this one of New England's finest tournament.  A founding member of the NESTF, Ken ran this model tournament from 1997 to 2005.

 

Competition from the Friendship Cup limited the 70's play somewhat.  In singles semifinals, Hall-of-Famer Dick Ernst upset second seed Mal Swanson in a hard fought exhausting match 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 before bowing to #1 seed and defending champ Dag Williamson in straight sets.

 

The first round of the 65 doubles started with a major upset as last year's singles title-holder Paul Fein who was paired with last year's doubles title-holder Ed Shein who were seeded #1 were beaten by the white hot duo of Bill Litwin and Phil Ludwig  6-3 6-1.  Litwin/Ludwig prevailed in the semis in a three set thriller with John Maloy and Jerry Sullivan.  On the other half of the draw, last year's runner-up team of John Fournier and Ted Underwood reached the finals with two competitive straight set victories over Bob Tilly/Bruce Mahler and Pat Rossetti/Paul Ajemian.  In the finals Fournier/Underwood held on in a tense third set to win 1-6, 6-0 6-4.

 

While rain required a little rescheduling for the 65 singles, once the sun arrived things moved forward without a hitch.  There was a large field with a few surprises.  The biggest was that the eventual winner, Quincy Tennis Club member Ron Zack had never before played in a USTA New England Tournament.  He had to join the USTA to enter the field. #1 seed Don Burgess defeated #3 seed Yoshi Akabane in the semis 6-4, 6-3.   Zack survived two three set struggles to make the finals before defeating Burgess in yet another three set marathon.

 

Overall the first year of the Ken Rickson Memorial Championships was a success with competitive matches and everyone had a good time.

 

65 singles finalist Don Burgess, Quincy President Mike Kenney and winner Ron Zack

 

65 doubles winners Ted Underwood and John Fournier

 

 

65 doubles winners John Fournier and Ted Underwood with Quincy president Mike Kenney and finalists Phil Ludwig and Bill Litwin

70 singles finalist Dick Ernst, Quincy president Mike Kenney and winner Dag Williamson