The biggest tennis tournament of the season is over and with it came some surprise results and some rather entertaining action.
The NWT Open wrapped up on Sunday at the Yellowknife Tennis Club with the finals in all divisions and the crowning of the 2018 territorial champions. The men’s final featured Brooke Harker taking on Jerry Wald of Fort Smith. Wald came into the tournament as the Fort Smith Open men’s singles champion and he made it two titles on the spin as he overcame Harker in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.
On the women’s singles side, Tamara Jovic and Anna Coles were the two left standing on Sunday and it was Jovic who came out on top, also in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4 in a very entertaining match which featured plenty of good serving and long rallies. It also featured a second set comeback on the part of Jovic, who came from 4-1 down to win the next five games unanswered to take the match.
“It was the best singles match I’ve ever played in,” said Jovic. “It was so much fun to play.”
Jovic had one ground stroke that seemed to work for her throughout the entire match: the lob, something hit she nearly every time Coles charged the net to cut down the court.
Jovic said it seemed to go well for her all match long.
“Usually, I end up missing a lot of my lob attempts but I was getting lucky and they were dropping in,” she said.
Nikola Jovic, Tennis NWT’s executive director, said the crowd gathered to watch the match also loved it.
“There was lots of cheering with every rally and they were having fun,” he said.
The men’s doubles decider was a Yellowknife vs. Fort Smith battle as Leo Jourard, the tennis club’s professional, teamed up with Nikola Jovic to take on the duo of Wald and Dennis Bevington in the final. Jourard and Jovic were able to neutralize the visitors as they ended up straight-sets winners, 6-4, 6-2.
Jovic said he was surprised to have won it in the minimum number of sets required.
“I didn’t think we would win in two,” he said. “Whenever I play them, it usually goes three sets because they’re a really good team.”
Wald and Bevington took the strategy of trying to keep the ball away from Jourard as often as they could to force Jovic into making the errors but when Jourard got his chance, he didn’t miss often.
“Leo is really quick,” said Jovic. “Not a lot of balls get past him and they were trying to get the ball past him. I just played my best and we played really well.”
Something else Jovic was proud of was the fact that he played a perfect service match.
“They didn’t break my serve once,” he said. “I had a really good service and so did Leo.”
The mixed doubles results weren’t available as of press time. See the next edition of Yellowknifer for that score.