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A NUMBER of the tennis players participating in the IC Bahamas tournament are pictured above.
As of Tuesday, January 17, 2023
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE International Tennis Clubs Doubles Week, featuring veteran retired tennis players from around the world, got underway yesterday at the Nassau Lawn Tennis Club with the United States showing their dominance in the two matches they played.
In the early match of the day on Monday, the USA Bluebirds knocked off Barbados 4-1 before the USA Robins came back and blanked the International Team 5-0.
The tournament consists of two men’s doubles, a ladies’ doubles and two mixed doubles. They are played with teams averaging 105 years in players combined and 125.
The IC is made up of 40 countries around the world, whose motto is “Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean.” They consist of top international players and national title holders.
Kit Spencer, president of the IC Bahamas, said they are excited to have the return of the tournament in the Bahamas, which is held on a bi-annual basis, but was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s a lot of great and strong players participating in the tournament,” Spencer said.
But after playing on the International Team that got blanked 5-0 by the USA Robins’ team, Spencer said it will be interesting to see how they stack up against the rest of the countries, including the Bahamas.
“The USA has two very good teams. They have a lot of very strong players,” he said. “We have four hundred thousand people and they have four million people, so they are very tough.”
Bob Beverley, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, said he started calling players from June/ July to play in the tournament and he’s happy with the two teams they have assembled.
“This is a wonderful tournament,” he said. “I had a number of people who were supposed to come, but didn’t come. I think it will be between one of our teams and the Bahamas and even though we have two teams, I think the Bahamas will get in the final, or at least that is what we’re hoping.”
The Bahamas, which will play its first match today against the USA Robins, starting at 9am, is looking forward to the challenge, according to team captain Neil Mactaggart.
“We’re a bunch of players, who know each other, but we haven’t played with each other,” Mactaggart said. “Some of our players are nursing injuries, so I’m hoping we all can play as a team uninjured and if we do, I think we will do very well.
“The USA is very strong again this year. They have a bunch of world-class players. In the Bahamas, we have some experienced players like John Antonas and Sue Kimball, but we have some younger players who we hope will step up because they are very knowledgeable about doubles.”
Robb Bunnen, the president of the US Tennis Club, said they are delighted to be in the Bahamas for the Caribbean IC Doubles Challenge.
“We love coming here. We’re so delighted to be playing on their clay courts in the city of Nassau,” he said. “It helps so much with preserving what’s left of our knees.”
Bunnen, however, said during the week, they hope to accomplish three things.
“Number one is to have some fun, number two is don’t get hurt and number three is to win at all cost,” he stressed.
“We have 400 members in our club, which is one of the biggest IC’s in the world, so it’s quite natural that we are here to win.”
When they are not playing, Bunnen, who hails from Atlanta, Georgia, said they are busy doing philanthropy work around the world, especially in Rwanda, for unprivileged kids who don’t have access to tennis or education.
The US IUC just celebrated their 90th anniversary, but Bunnen said the IC has been in existence for 124 years, so they are also looking at ways of keeping the camaraderie and friendship alive among the players long after they stop playing competitively.
Results of games played on day one are as follows:
USA Bluebirds def. Barbados 4-1
Men’s 105+ – Shirish Desphpande /Steve Moehn (USA) def. Roger, Edghill/James Tasker (Barbados) 6-2, 6-2.
Women’s 105+ – Kay Beverley/Shana Magruder (USA) def. Tracy Johnson/ Marie-Jeanne Symmonds (Barbados) 6-1, 6-3.
Men’s 125+ – John Chatlak/Ward Snyder (USA) derf. Raymond Forde/Peter Symmonds (Barbados) 6-1, 6-3.
Mixed 105+ – Steve Moehn/Shana Magruder (USA) def. Riger Edghill/ Marie-Jeanne Symmonds (Barbados) 6-1, 6-3.
Mixed 120+ – Raymond Forde/Marie Gentile (Barbados) def. John Chatlak/ Kay Beverley (USA) 6-2, 3-6, 10-8.
USA Robins def. International 5-0
Men’s 105+ – Jeff Clark/ Jeff Snow def. Cory Francis/Alex Murbach (International) 6-4, 6-1.
Women’s 105+ – Mariana Hollman/Margaret Lumia (USA) def. Dale Kozicz/ Kathy Mueller (International Team) 6-0, 6-4.
Men’s 125+ – Robb Bunnen/Rob Castorri (USA) def. Jerry Kanuka/ Kit Spencer (International Team) 6-1, 6-3.
Mixed 105+ – Jeff Clark/ Ann Clark (USA) def. Cory Francis/Kathy Mueller (International Team) 6-2, 6-1.
Mixed 120+ – Jeff Snow/ Margaret Lumia (USA) def. Jerry Kanuka/Dale Kozicz (International Team) 6-4, 7-6 (4).
9am – USA Robins vs The Bahamas
2pm – Barbados vs the International Team.
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