Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
So did you hear, a Brit won Wimbledon on home turf http://www.wimbledon.com/. But that only matters if THAT Wimbledon counts. Haverhill has its own Wimbledon and it’s easier to be seeded, you don’t have to use a currency exchange or an airplane and the beer isn’t warm.
On July 6, Cedardale, 931 Boston Road, Bradford, conducted its prestigious mixed doubles tournament in 92+ degree heat (combine that with the radiant heat from the hard courts and you can add an extra 10 degrees). It was hot and sweaty enough to require repeat outfit changes. And that impacted the “all white” ruling because seriously who has that many white tennis outfits. Guest blogger “Rambo” aka Erik Muench gives the Finals play-by-play/overview in italic at the end of this post.
Tennis is a great sport for any age. THOH has been beaten by an 80-year old man with a hip transplant who really knew where to hit a ball so that he could stay still and his opponent ran around like a distraught turkey, and by another silver haired man who still plays with a wooden racquet verifying that old saying: “A poor worker blames his tools”. If you’ve got the goods, you’ve got the game regardless of age. With a racquet and operating knees, you can play tennis almost forever. There are actually wheel chair matches, so it’s even more possible to play forever now.You can join Cedardale http://www.cedardale-health.net/club/scripts/home/home.asp for its 10 hard courts and 4 clay courts (clay courts are seasonal) group and individual lessons, round robins, leagues, mixers and tournaments. The facility exceeds anything offered in neighboring communities for its sheer quantity of tennis opportunities.
But you do not have to join a private club to play in Haverhill. The City offers tennis clinics for kids and adults each summer at Winnekenni Park for a nominal fee. Check out the program here: http://www.ci.haverhill.ma.us/departments/human/recreation/activities.htm In addition you can play at the Winnekenni Park courts at 347 Kenoza Ave, Haverhill, MA 01830 for free when they are available, as well as the courts at Haverhill High School, 137 Monument Street.
AND NOW ADDING COLOR TO THE WEARING OF THE WHITE – WIMBLEDON AT CEDARDALE by Erik “RAMBO” Muench
The azure court surfaces rippled in the heat shimmer Saturday morning. They resembled cool Mediterranean tidal pools more than the 105-degree furnaces tempering the steel determination of the 24 intrepid competitors who would soon be vying for the 2013 Wimbledon title. The warriors ranged in age from 24 to almost half a century older than that. Two dozen would enter. Only two would emerge victorious.
The sight and sound of families enjoying refreshing respite in the crystal waters of the Cedardale pool nearby only taunted those girding for battle on the blistering blue concrete. Indeed, de rigueur courtwear was white clothing only. Perhaps this was homage to the eponymous and somewhat more well-known event in London, but the net effect was that the troupe resembled a platoon of the French Foreign Legion preparing for a march through the hottest reaches of the Sahara. A coed platoon.
And sally forth we did, in two flights of 6 teams each. There were withering serves ripping the felt off the tennis balls, blazing groundstrokes, lightning strike volleys, and ground pounding smashes. And that was from the women. The competition was as close as it was ferocious. Even though we played abbreviated 5-game sets because of the heat, the typical set score was 3-2 and games were typically decided at deuce, so each set might take upward of 1/2 hour in the swelter of the noonday sun.
At the end of seven solid hours of play (wall clock time may have said 2.5, but it felt like seven), one team from each flight emerged victorious. These four players went back out to play a full first-to-six game set for the honor of being the 2013 Wimbledon Champions. The rest of us retired to relative luxury under the canopy of the Cedardale grill and – most importantly – outside bar.
The set was grueling and even harder fought than any of the competition that preceded it. In the end, the champions Stan Peijffers and Marisa Stevens prevailed over husband and wife, Team Russell, through synergistic employ of their respective talents. Stan’s return of serve and approach are impeccable, and those often set up his net game which is like watching a Grandmaster Swordsman dispatch his opponent. Meanwhile, Marisa can return anything hit anywhere on the court, which would either wear out the competition, put the ball back onto Stan’s net game, or, just at the moment you thought she would put the ball back in play, she would spike the volley for a winner. In the end, Stan and Marisa emerged from the court in their wilted whites and sun bronzed limbs to take home the championship gift bags.
Tennis , anyone?
©2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell and Erik Muench