When it comes to championship games in any sport, you’re expecting a tight, close contest with both sides pushing the other to the limit.
But you also get those games where you wonder why the game was even played in the first place.
This year’s NWT Open tennis tournament didn’t have any of those games of the latter sort with some entertaining tennis all weekend.
The championship contests were all held on July 25 with five titles up for grabs. The men’s singles champion this year is Cole Clinton as he defeated Nikhilesh Gohil but young master Gohil didn’t make it easy for Clinton as he pushed him all the way. In the end, Clinton won in three sets; 4-6, 6-3, 7-6.
On the women’s side, Tamara Jovic won another singles title but she, like Clinton, was made to work for it as Mercy Mupedziswa also took Jovic to a deciding set. Jovic eventually battled through to win 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.
Jovic said she wasn’t mentally in the game at the start because the times threw her off.
“My match was supposed to happen at 4 p.m. but it got delayed because of mixed doubles,” she said. “Once I got into the match mentally, I picked it up.”
Never mind the fact that she was also late for work because of it all, she added.
“I was two hours late but my mom texted me and told me not to worry about work,” she said.
Jovic and Clinton would then team up to play in the mixed doubles and won that one as well over the duo of Sonya Seghal and Alberto Valero; 7-5, 6-1.
Jovic said they’ve played mixed doubles before but things didn’t go as planned at the start.
“We were playing our first match and I was thinking this wasn’t going to go well but we found our rhythm as it went on and we ended up playing really well together,” she said.
Perhaps one of the more entertaining finals was the women’s doubles decider featuring the tandem of Anna Coles and Dawn Keim up against the team of Anita Aogaa and Madeleine Kapraelian. It would be a match filled with plenty of long rallies, multiple deuces in spots and some lively court chatter throughout as Keim and Coles managed to outlast Aogaa and Kapraelian; 6-4, 7-5.
The men’s doubles final saw Gohil team up with KM Sahat Rashif to defeat Nikola Jovic and Stephen Messier in straight sets; 6-3, 6-3.
A total of 60 players from Yellowknife and Fort Smith entered to play, said Slavica Jovic of Tennis NWT, and that meant an early start to the proceedings.
“Due to the large number of participants we started on Tuesday (July 20) and Wednesday (July 21) with early round matches,” she said. “It rained on Thursday (July 22) and Friday (July 23) so we had to move all matches that were scheduled for Friday to Saturday.”
The weather cleared up enough for the weekend that a full schedule could be played, she added.
“We were lucky that the weather was good so we were able to accommodate consolation matches on Saturday and Sunday and give participants another opportunity to play if they lost their first round matches,” she said.