Vernon’s Murray Bennetto can add another title to his collection from the annual Labour Day Tennis Championships.
At the 101st installment last weekend at the Kalamalka Country Club, Bennetto, the former head pro at the American Club in Hong Kong, overwhelmed Alex Kotai of Abbotsford 6-0, 6-2 to win the men’s A title.
In the consolation final, Jerry Reinhardt of Vernon outlasted former junior Vernon player Reid Clarke, who now lives in Calgary, 7-5, 6-2.
The event was played under superb conditions, drawing more than 90 players from across B.C. and Alberta. It featured A and B divisions in men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles, as well as a women’s A singles group.
“The weather determines the success and flow of a tennis tournament, especially when you have many matches to be played,” said tournament director Ray Kimoto.
In the men’s B singles, Everett Knight of Vancouver won an exciting match over Joe McFadden of Vernon, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. In the consolation final, Randy Heslop of Kamloops grounded Allen Knight of Vancouver, 6-0, 7-5.
Vernon’s Meryl Ogden ruled the women’s A singles, sweeping Vancouver’s Monica Morato, 6-3, 6-3, for the crown.
Consolation winner was Vernon’s Supha Phonchaingkwang over Kelowna’s Marnie Perrier, 6-3, 6-2. Vernon 16-year-old Anna Cherkowski fell in one of the semifinals to Morato, 6-3, 6-2.
In the women’s A doubles, Vernon’s Eva Koksalova and Kelowna’s Elena Audy brushed back Ogden and Rosie Schaich of Kelowna, 5-6, 6-4, 10-8.
The women’s B doubles title went to the Kamloops duo of Jan Newlove and Helen Dunn, who defeated Vernon’s Bonnie Anderson and Kelowna’s Yvonne Faulkner, 6-3, 6-3.
In a tight men’s A doubles final, Vernon’s Jeremy Bell and Kotai shaded Prince George brothers Jim Condon and Kristian Kiland, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.
In the semis, the Vernon team of Ralph Stevens and Reinhardt lost an exciting match to Bell and Kotai, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Vernon’s Dave Valouch and Reid Clarke teamed up to take the men’s B doubles, rallying to upend McFadden and John Widing, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
In an all-Vernon semifinal, Valouch and Reid defeated Gary Edwards and Frits Bakker, 6-4, 6-3.
The mixed A doubles provided some of the most entertaining matches as the winning and runner-up teams struggled to reach the finals.
In the semis, Rosie and Joe Schaich, fell to Koksalova and Vernon’s Craig Tilander, 7-6, 4-6, 11-9, while in the other semi, Lyse Tremblay and Dan Albrecht, both from Kelowna, lost to the mother-son team of Nancy and Jim Condon, both of Prince George, 6-7, 6-1, 10-8.
In the final Koksalova and Tilander swept the Condons, 7-5, 6-3.
In the mixed B doubles, the Kelowna tandem of Krista Martens and Joel dePfyffer stopped Anne Ellis (Vernon) and Curtis Hamilton (Penticton) 6-2, 5-7, 10-6.
Martens and dePfyffer reached the final with a 6-0, 6-0 semifinal sweep of Vernon’s Judi McIntosh and Edwards.
Kimoto thanked fellow tennis committee members Gordon Mann and Dave Valouch; Karalee Drdul and Alice Kimoto for preparing snacks and lunches; Barry Bojarski and Laurie Lyons for the barbecue dinner; club caretaker Tony Bastian; and other support from Voets Coffee, Quails’ Gate Winery, Canadian Tire and The Morning Star.