Beautiful weather, enthusiastic spectators, and high-quality play typified the 9th Annual Lopez Open Tennis Tournament, held August 14-16 at the Don Stensrud Memorial Tennis Courts. Hosted by the Lopez Island Community Tennis Association (LICTA), 35 participants and as many on-lookers witnessed hard fought and often close matches. Tennis players from Lopez, San Juan, Seattle, California and even Texas and Arkansas appreciated the improved court conditions resulting from LICTA’s recent efforts at erecting windscreens, installing new benches, and pressure washing the courts.
Players ranging in age from 16 to their high 60’s competed in Men’s Singles, Men’s and Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles in a best-two-out-of-three set format. Early round play was characterized by numerous nail-biting three set matches and numerous tie-breakers as opponents were often closely matched.
One highlight, according to Tournament director/LICTA President Tom Pal, was a semi-final three set thriller in Women’s Doubles involving the team of Inez Black and Linda Goodrich, with a combined age of over 130, against Linda Adams of Lopez and Mary Beth Collingwood of Enumclaw. Using years of experience and consistent play, Black and Goodrick proved to be wily and formidable opponents, but could not prevail.
An off-the-court highlight was the annual draw party which is open to tournament participants and friends of Lopez tennis, hosted this year by Lucien and Susan Schmit. A great evening was had by all.
The Men’s Singles final was a family affair between Evan and Drew Beckman, with Drew emerging victorious in a 3 set marathon. The Beckman brothers then paired up for the Men’s Doubles finals, defeating Tom Pal and Dick Barnes in straight sets. Women’s Doubles final matched Audrey Wakefield and Christie Driskell against Linda Adams and Mary Beth Collingwood with Wakefield and Driskell winning the championship decisively in straight sets. Wakefield then teamed up with Steve Buchanan against Mary Beth and Mark Collingwood in a repeat of last year’s mixed doubles final. This husband and wife team repeated last year’s results, winning in straight sets, the first decided by a tie-breaker.
As next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the Lopez Open, plans are already underway to insure that both on and off court events are even better than this year. For information about LICTA and tennis on Lopez, go to www.licta.com.
A special thank you to this years tournament sponsor, Lopez Islander Marina Resort.