The weekend of Aug. 9 to 11 drew many locals, Vancouverites and Victorians to the Sunshine Coast for the 44th Annual Sunshine Coast Open Tennis Tournament.
At full capacity and having to turn away late entries, the mixed doubles draw saw a full slate of 16 teams duke it out, capping its semi-finals and finals on the coveted Roberts Creek grass court. The final Saturday evening saw the dynamic Vancouverites Mia van der Kop and Peter Figasinski face off against Gibsons’ three-peat champs, Shelley Lawrence and Gustav Guzek. The local darlings triumphed in a three-setter in front of the home crowd 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Due to rain, the Suncoast Racquet Club generously offered to move the event to their fantastic indoor facility. Unfortunately, the reduction in courts from four to two resulted in the tournament having to forego the consolation rounds. However, the main draws did not disappoint.
A strong women’s doubles draw saw relentless rallies in the semis and finals, finally ending in a tight victory for Tammy Klashinsky and Liz Dobie against Sandra Watt and Shelly Lawrence, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. The women’s singles final had the reigning champ, Janet Schembri, dethroned by the wiley Sandy Hook South African, Adèle Wood, 6-4, 6-3.
The men’s doubles final was one of the more memorable in recent times with the defending champs, Otto Grunow and Gustav Guzek, playing the crafty local veteran Gord Halloran and former junior national player, Darren Causon. It was a see-saw battle but late in the deciding third set tiebreak Otto and Gustav had to retire due to injury, giving the title to a Gord and Darren, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (6-4 retired). The men’s final had a fit Victorian, Eric Murphy, face the cat-like prowess of Sunshine Coast’s Darren Causon. After many high-quality, long rallies, Darren emerged as the victor, 6-3, 6-3.
Many thanks to the sponsors, without whom this event would not be possible. A special thanks to Stuart Flockhart who, year after year, has generously donated his locally caught salmon to the unique grass court tennis barbecue. And thank you to Shelley and Darcy Lawrence for their tireless efforts organizing the tournament annually. Look for the tournament online at sunshinecoastopen.com