The Calcutta was an amazing tournament this year. Although we did not raise as much cash for the Boys & Girls Club of Venice ($402), we did have a great weekend of camaraderie and exceptional sportsmanship this year. Every player showed genuine concern for fairness. The athletes were jovial with one another throughout, even when the big money was on the line in the latter stages of the tournament.
Ten teams entered, but unfortunately, only four teams could finish “in the money.” In the finals of the Gold Division we had Sheelagh Boyd teamed with Mike Skolnik against the fearsome duo of Barbara Rubin and Jack Hubka. This match as a barn burner, with the outcome in doubt to the very last point. In the end, Skolnik and Boyd took the Gold trophy 32-28, 31-32, 32-31 in the third set after a see-saw battle in the first two sets.
In the battle for third place in the main draw, we had Elliot Nache (last year’s finalist) teaming with a newcomer to the Calcutta, Linda Fuller. On the other side of the net were Maureen Hunt (last year’s Calcutta champ) teamed with Carl Hoppe, another Calcutta virgin. Linda and Elliot proved to be too much with a deft blend of Elliot’s power and Linda’s consistency, they triumphed in two close sets.
In the main draw finals, the two lowest handicapped teams battled it out while the rest of us ate burgers and chips. Karen Berliner and Carlos Dunkerly (Calcutta champ in 2011) had a handicap of 5, while Mio Charles and Jim Richards came in with a handicap of 4. Mio and Jim established a tempo right from point one, with Mio being aggressive from the baseline and Jim swarming the net. Along with a high first serve percentage, they played very high level tennis and never let Carlos and Karen get rhythm or position long enough to make a dent in their armor. Although Carlos and Karen tried every trick they knew, Mio and Jim had a date with destiny, dominating the final 32-13, 32-21. Congrats to all who were able to sustain a high level of play in this challenging and unfamiliar format. Thanks to all the people who donated their time and money for the auction and for this exciting brand of tennis. I hope to see some more of you participating next year as there’s no tournament like the Calcutta!