With the short tennis season in Yellowknife, there is seemingly no rest for the wicked.

But if the players didn’t love the sport, they wouldn’t do it, right?

The Yellowknife Tennis Club played host to its latest tournament of 2021, that being the Yellowknife Open, which wrapped up on July 11. Four new sets of champions were crowned when the on-court business was completed.

Nikhilesh Gohil continued his winning ways as he earned the men’s singles title by beating K.M. Safat Rashif in the final in straight sets; 6-2, 6-0.

The women’s singles champion is Tamara Jovic. She defeated Anna Coles in the title contest, also in straight sets: 7-5, 6-4.

Coles, who won the women’s singles crown at the Fort Smith Open the weekend prior, said Jovic was the deserved winner this time around, even though the final score suggested a much closer contest.

“(Tamara) has gotten so much better over the past year and she had me on the run the entire match,” Coles said. “I was returning floaters and her next stroke would be an absolute bomb to the opposite side of the court. She was well-deserving of the win.”

Coles wouldn’t leave empty-handed though, as she teamed up with Gohil to prevail in mixed doubles as they defeated Tamara and Nikola Jovic; 6-2, 6-3.

Coles said this was the first time she and Gohil joined forces and it couldn’t have gone any better.

“We actually talked about it in Fort Smith and we decided to have a go in Yellowknife,” she said. “He was such a pleasure to play with. He has such a natural, easy style of play and he was making great shots all game long. He would return shots just as hard as they came at him and I had so much fun playing with him.”

Nikola Jovic wouldn’t be left behind as he teamed up with Rashif to secure the men’s doubles title over the duo of Randy Rivers and Jean Tuyishime; 7-5, 6-3.

The women’s doubles final featured Maureen McCabe and Hiro Kobayashi taking on Teresa and Marissa Martin for the title and it would be McCabe and Kobayashi who would come through in a marathon three-set affair by scores of 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.

Alex Godfrey, who helped put the tournament together with assistance from Nittin Gohil and Elizabeth duPlessis, said it appeared that everyone had a great time.

“Full credit to Nittin because he had the barbecue going, which is a very important part of the weekend,” he said. “We got lucky to have good weather — just missed the rain that came later on — and the competition was excellent. Lots of close matches.”

If there was one problem, Godfrey said it was scheduling but it was a good problem to have.

“We had to schedule so many people and that’s because we have a lot of people who enjoy tennis in this town,” he said. “It all came together and everyone came with a positive attitude and we had a great weekend.”

Next up is the NWT Open and that’s set to kick off on Friday at the Yellowknife Tennis Club.

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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