It’s much too cold to play tennis outside, plus there’s snow on the outdoor courts.

You could clear off the courts and give ‘er at -36 C or so — if you really, really wanted to — but why do that when you can go inside and play on the indoor courts at the Fieldhouse?

That’s what Tennis NWT invited people to do as it hosted the second annual Winter Holiday Tournament, Dec. 26 to 29. Twenty-five players responded.

Slavica Jovic, one of Tennis NWT’s directors, said the tournament was able to proceed courtesy of some extra money from Tennis Canada.

“Last year, we used Covid-19 funding to host it but Tennis Canada sent us some bonus funding,” she said. “That was on top of funding we got from them for this past season.”

On the court, five divisions were in play: men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Nikki Gohil took the honours in the men’s singles as he beat Brooke Harker in three sets: 6-7, 6-3, 10-3.

Jovic said the reason for the modified tiebreaker in the final set was due to time constraints, meaning the first player to reach 10 points would be declared the winner.

The younger Gohil would sweep the men’s titles as he teamed with his father, Nittin Gohil, to beat Harker and Tim Martin in three sets: 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

On the women’s side, Tamara Jovic ended up prevailing in a walkover as her opponent, Hiro Kobayashi, withdrew due to an injury. Kobayashi, though, would win the women’s doubles with her partner, Elizabeth DuPlessis, over the duo of Tamara Jovic and Catherine Boyd in straight sets: 6-2, 7-6.

The mixed doubles champions are Tamara Jovic and Cole Clinton. They pulled off the dreaded double-bagel win over DuPlessis and Randy Rivers — 6-0, 6-0.

Slavica Jovic said Tennis NWT was able to host the tournament after receiving an exemption from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO).

“We applied for up to 30 people and we were approved rather quickly,” she said. “We asked for people to sign up well before the tournament so we knew how many players we would have and how many days we would need to rent the Fieldhouse for because it isn’t cheap.”

There is some money left over and Jovic said that will go toward paying for some indoor programming at the Fieldhouse from now until April.

In addition to the tournament action, Tennis NWT also received an Active, Resilient, Connected Grant from the NWT Recreation and Parks Association in the amount of $1,150 to host three events for Elders. The requirements for the grant are that each event must be open to the public, must be free to attend and be held under the proper GNWT public health directives.

Jovic said the first of those events was held on New Year’s Day at the Fieldhouse with the next two scheduled for Jan. 9 and 16.

And there are exemptions from the OCPHO to host both.

“It’s all about getting more people out to play and keeping people active,” said Jovic.

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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