Murray Bennetto retained his men’s singles championship as he defeated Jeremy Bell 6-2, 7-5 Monday in the 102nd Annual Okanagan Valley Labour Day Tennis Championships at the Kalamalka Country Club.
Bennetto, who turned 50 in June, is a former Hong Kong pro and Davis Cup player/coach. Based in Hong Kong for more than 16 years, he moved back to Vernon in 2005.
In the men’s consolation final, Kyle Johnston of Kelowna defeated Grant Stanley of Kelowna, 6-3, 3-6, 10-3.
More than 90 entrants throughout B.C. competed, and fans were entertained by many close and thrilling matches and exciting tennis.
Men’s B Singles – 13-year-old Calvin Thalheimer of Kelowna defeated former finalist Tom Budd of Kelowna, 3-6, 6-0, 10-5. In the consolation final, Lyndon Shipowick of Kelowna grounded Kelvin Ludbrook of Vernon, 6-4, 6-2.
Ladies’ A Singles – was dominated by Audrey Chu of Kelowna as she defeated Monica Morato of Vancouver, 1-6, 7-5, 10-6. Consolation winner was Elena Audy of Kelowna over Marnie Perrier of Kelowna, 6-0, 6-1.
Ladies’ A Doubles – Because of the small entry in the ladies doubles, five teams were placed in a round-robin event. First place went to Eva Koksalova and Elena Audy of Kelowna, and second went to the Vernon team of Anne Ellis and Sandra Liedl.
Ladies’ B Doubles – The Vernon combo of Linda Borger and Julie Vardabasso overwhelmed Pauline Sweet (Vancouver) and Helen Dunn, (Kamloops) 6-1, 6-4.
Men’s A Doubles – Bell and West Martin of Kelowna won over Craig Tilander of Vernon and Mike Knights of Lake Country, 6-3, 6-3.
Men’s B Doubles – Dave Valouch and Morris Vardabasso, both of Vernon, lost in the finals to Kyle Peters (Vancouver) and Justin Lebbon (Kelowna) 6-0, 6-4. In an all-Vernon semifinal, Valouch and Vardabasso defeated Mark Corbett and Pat Hughes 6-4, 6-2.
Mixed A Doubles – Playing under the lights, the mixed A doubles provided one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament. Koksalova and Tilander defeated Rosie and Joe Schaich of Kelowna 6-4, 4-6, 10-4.
Mixed B Doubles – Also playing under the lights, Aeri Lee and Ken Cheung, both of Kelowna, defeated Pauline and Brian Sweet of Vancouver 6-2, 6-2. To get to the finals, the Sweets stopped Barry Bojarski (Vernon) and Regina Dirk (Vancouver) 6-4, 6-4.
“Congratulations to all the winners and participants for a wonderful weekend of tennis enjoyed by all who came out to watch the events,” said longtime tourney director Ray Kimoto.
“Tennis tournaments cannot be successful without volunteers who put in many hours of their time.
“Many thanks to the hard-working tennis tournament committee of Gordon Mann, Gary Davidson, Karalee Drudl, Dave Valouch, Robin McRae and Alice Kimoto, and to club members Heinrich and Marie Schimpl, Jill Holmes and Bob Corbett for their time and for making this a successful tournament under perfect weather conditions.
“The tournament committee, in turn, would like to thank caretaker Tony Bastian and Voets Coffee for providing coffee for all our tournaments, and to 50th Parallel Winery, Quails’ Gate Winery, Arrow Leaf Winery, London Drugs, Roster’s Sports Club, Shoppers Drug Mart and The Italian Kitchen for donations and door prizes, and the Kalamalka Country Club for hosting the Okanagan Labour Day Championships.”