If you can’t beat them, join them. At least that’s how it came down to the men’s doubles champions of the Yk Tennis Open earlier this month at the Yellowknife Tennis Club.
More on that later because we have to start with the singles.
The men’s singles final of the tournament featured Alex Godfrey taking on Brooke Harker and it would be Godfrey who would prevail in three sets: 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. It was Godfrey’s fourth three-set match of the tournament and, in fact, all four of his wins in the singles came in three sets.
Godfrey started off by defeating Andrew Carr in his opening round match and his reward was a second-round meeting with Bernie Bennett, winner of everything there is to win in NWT tennis many times over.
“I had never played him before,” said Godfrey. “I’d always seen him play but never against him.”
Godfrey started off well, winning the opening set, 6-0, only for Bennett to come back and win the second set in a tiebreak, 7-6. Godfrey, though, managed to settle himself down to come back and win the decider, 6-0.
“It was a weird match against Bernie,” he said. “I play a similar type of game to his: just get the ball back and keep the ball in play.”
After beating Nittin Gohil in the semifinal, it was off to play Harker. Harker dropped the gauntlet in the first set, 6-1, while Godfrey picked it up in the second with a 6-4 win. The third set also went Godfrey’s way but Godfrey thinks he had a bit of an advantage.
“Brooke was starting to cramp up a bit,” he said. “He blew the doors off in the first set but I just dug in and took the breaks when they came. Most days, he’ll beat me but this was the one day he didn’t.”
And now for the men’s doubles.
Godfrey and Harker teamed up to win that event over the duo of MD Mahfuzur Rahmen and KM Safat Rashif in the final, 6-2, 6-1 on a windy day.
“We played with the wind better than they did,” said Godfrey. “They gave a few difficult moments in the final but Brooke’s serving was awesome. He’s a left-hander and when that wind is going, he can swing the ball out wide.”
Anna Coles was a two-time winner in the tournament as she won the women’s singles in straight sets over Tamara Jovic, 6-2, 6-2. She then teamed up with Dawn Keim to overcome the duo of Lee Knee and Tami Johnson, 6-1, 6-3.
Jovic wouldn’t leave empty-handed as she teamed up with Stephen Messier to win the mixed doubles by beating the sister-brother duo of Ofira and Obed Duru Jr. in the final, 6-2, 6-1.