Ken Rickson Memorial Senior Championships at the Quincy Tennis Club
by Ted Underwood
The quiet neighborhood setting and brick red clay courts of the Quincy Tennis Club (one of the oldest in the Boston area – 1887) were once again the backdrop for the Ken Rickson Memorial Senior Championships. Ken was a long time player and advocate for high quality tournaments. For many years Ken made this one of New England’s finest tournaments. A founding member of the New England Senior Tennis Foundation, Ken ran this model tournament from 1997 to 2005.
The tournament got off to a rocky start as it poured rain on opening day and all matches had to be cancelled. But after that, the weather cooperated and things went off without a hitch.
In the semis, #1 seed Yoshi Akabane won out over Pat Rossetti 6-4 6-4 in a match which was much closer than the score would normally indicate. In the other semis #2 seed Warren Steele outlasted Ed Coakely in a three set marathon 6-2 6-7 6-2. In the finals, the seeding proved accurate as Yoshi defeated Warren 6-2 6-0.
In the semis, Bob Tilly/Bruce Mahler upset #1 seed Pat Rossetti/Paul Ajemian in a tense three set dual 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. On the other half of the draw in the semis, #2 seeds Ted Underwood and Bill Litwin struggled in three sets to overcome the strong play of Butch Gulizia and Joe Ryan 6-7, 6-0, 6-2. In the finals, Underwood/Litwin prevailed. In the ninth game of the second set Tilly/Mahler fought off 5 match points in a twenty minute game only to fall in the next game 6-4 6-4.
As with the 65 singles, the seeds held up. In the semis, #1 seed Bob McAfee and Donald McGoldrick bested Mac Farmer and Charlie Lockwood 6-1 6-1 while #2 seed John Swan and Phil Ludwig defeated Ken Miller and Mal Swanson 6-2 6-1. In the finals, McGoldrick and McAfee dispatched Swan/Ludwig 6-2 6-2, leading John Swan to say that Donald McGoldrick is the best doubles player he has faced in his three years of competition in the 70s doubles in New England. McGoldrick's partner Bob McAfee mentioned that Don had just recently won the National Chapionships in Ireland in 70s singles and doubles.
A large draw, spirited play and some notable upsets characterized the 70 Singles. Newcomer Peter Longsjo, after a tight match with Bob Stahl in the quarters, upset #1 seed Wally Weld in straight sets in the semis 6-4 6-3. On the other half of the draw, in the quarters Quincy Tennis Club's Dick Stewart upset #2 seed Ken Miller in three tough sets. Jack Reynolds then beat Stewart in the semis in a three set struggle 6-3 2-6 6-2. In the finals, Reynolds prevailed after Peter Longsjo was forced to retire with an injury sustained in his match with Weld. The score was 3-6 3-0 retired injury.
While rain required substantial rescheduling once the sun arrived things moved forward nicely. There was a large field, a few surprises, and the second year with the tournament named the Ken Rickson Memorial Championships was a success with competitive matches, good lunches and everyone a good time had by all.
70s doubles finalists John Swan and Phil Ludwig with Quincy TC President Jim Rougvie
65 singles finalist Warren Steele with winner Yoshi Akabani with QTC President Jim Rougvie
65 doubles winners Ted Underwood and Bill Litwin with QTC President Jim Rougvie