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Niagara Falls
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Ross’s Ramblings: Tennis players persevere, despiteMother Nature

Niagara-on-the-Lake Tennis Club director Rosemary Goodwin worked hard to organize singles tournaments in October, staring down Mother Nature and persevering for over three weeks to declare champions in both men's and women's divisions.

Twenty men and eight women registered, and by being flexible and patient, and anxious to play, good times were had.

October’s weather was October’s weather, and after three frustrating weeks, Kendra Osa prevailed in a hard-fought match to top former champion Fran Doran 7-5. Both players were aggressive and tenacious, with sportswomanship and elan, down to the last cross-court volley by Kendra.

This was Kendra's first year as a member of our very active club. Her genuine warmth and desire to improve her game, and her willingness to play in various leagues and clinics, has made it easy for club members to welcome her with open arms. 

Her infectious smile, energy and sportswomanship have brought youthful joy to Memorial Park.

She is a Grade 11 student at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in St. Catharines and earlier this month she won the girls singles championship at the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association Zone 4 tournament. 

Players from Eden, Governor Simcoe, Grimsby and other Niagara-area high schools competed. Kendra joins a fairly long line of Bulldogs to win this title and she will compete for the southern Ontario title early next year.

Originally from  Indonesia, her family believe that it is as important to be a good sport as it is to be a good athlete.

Sunni Cao won the women's B division, outlasting the very sporty Danna McDonough in a match that featured some long rallies and “great gets.”

As Jay Silverheels, a.k.a. Tonto, the thespian Mohawk from near Brantford, would have said to John Reid, a.k.a. The Lone Ranger, “Who was that masked man?”

The men’s champion was somewhat of a phantom entry. A young chap from Toulouse, France, working in Fort Erie for a year or so, met a NOTL tennis player a few months ago, and ended up entering the club championship tournament. He registered as a club member recently.

Boy, was he ever good. Various hard and tricky serves, deep shots, painting the lines often, and what topspin!

During the tournament, he toasted his opponents in every round, winning 30 games and losing only one.

Local favourite Mark Waler put up a gallant effort in the final, fighting for every point before watching yet another deep topspin crosscourt catch the line for the final point. Yes, 98 per cent out is still in.

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