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Camaraderie and competition mix at Winter Cup Tournament
2022-01-09
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With sports on hold in Ontario for a few weeks, members of the Sudbury Indoor Tennis Centre will have to relive their memories of the Winter Cup Invitational Tennis Tournament to satisfy their competitive fix for the time being.

Thankfully, many a great memory was made as two teams of ten players each squared off in a three-day event that mirrored, to a certain extent, the likes of the Laver Cup.

Deadlocked at seven points apiece after two days of play, Team (Daniel) Wong and Team (Vedran) Dukic went right down to the wire, with action on Sunday to deciding matters as the former closed it off in style with a four match sweep, capturing the tournament 19-7.

(It should be noted that victories on Friday were worth one point each, two points were awarded for Saturday wins and three points allocated for those who prevailed in Sunday)

Some of the best tennis came courtesy of Paul de la Riva (Team Wong) and Jesse Winn (Team Dukic) as the pairing went toe to toe, in various incarnations, on a small handful of occasions, with each earning bragging rights at times.

Winn bested de la Riva in singles play on Friday (7-6, 6-3), before the latter teamed with FĂ©lix Tubin in outlasting Winn and Jay Lemmon 7-6, 6-7, 10-3 in men's doubles play on day two.

Mixed play on Sunday would see de la Riva and Alana Holmes stop Winn and Meghan Forestell 6-0, 6-2. In a showdown of the young(ish) guns, Tubin and Lemmon, both in their twenties, went the distance on Friday, with Lemmon posting a 3-6, 7-6, 10-8 triumph.

The eldest athlete in attendance, Neil Lind (68 years young) partnered with Hugo Pino to defeat the tandem of Vedran Dukic and Michael Boeswald 6-2, 6-4, with the roster of the winning team rounded out with Andi Mannok, Marc Piquette, Olga Demcenco and Nicole Paquette.

Abbas Dedanwala, Rodrigo Bores, Ryan Hupping, Margo Favretto and Nicole Ament comprised the balance of the Team Dukic lineup.

All in all, the event very much served its purpose.

"I would say that a social component was 100% part of the rationale for getting together, and I think that all of the participants would agree with me that the camaraderie was as important as the competition itself," suggested Lind, who has enjoyed plenty of involvement on the administrative and organizational side of tennis, over the years.

This time around, he was more than happy to take a backseat and focus on his role as a player.

"This was their first foray into organizing a tournament and I think it went well," said Lind, who normally winters in a Florida community where tennis is abundant. "I commend them for having the wherewithal to take the initiative to get people out playing."

"I think it was a fun event for everyone, and there certainly was a competitive element to it."

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