Although it had lower turnout than usual, the White Spot Prince George Open was an enjoyable experience for those who participated, Prince George Tennis Club coordinator Jim Condon said.
Twenty-four players participated in the weekend event held at the club, short of the 35 Condon was hoping for.
“Less entries than usual, which kind of sucked but it was fun,” he said.
Despite the wet weather, Condon said there was only a couple rain delays and the majority of matches were already complete when heavy rains, thunder and lightning hit Prince George early in the evening on Saturday.
“I don’t think I’ve ever run a tournament where it hasn’t rained,” Condon said. “It’s just awful.”
Condon and his mother Nancy took the mixed doubles title in the tournament, defeating Rob Prideaux and Jan Leong 2-1 (0-6, 6-3, 6-4).
“(The first set) was sad,” Jim said. “We’d switched receiving ends, we normally play a certain way, and we were like well lets play a different way and lost six love, so we went back and everything went well from there.”
In men’s singles, Chris Li defeated Matt Altizer in straight sets, 6-0 and 6-2 to win the A event, while Kelowna player Kelly Hucal downed Jon Lafontaine in two sets, 6-4 and 6-4 to take the B title.
Hucal’s son Ryan fell short in the intermediate singles division, losing 7-6 (4) and 6-1 to Kristian Kiland, while Susie Walker breezed past Ryan’s sister Merissa in straight sets, 6-0 and 6-1, in the ladies open singles final.
In men’s doubles, the duo of Les Obst and Rob Crobar defeated Matt Altizer and Andrej Vdovenko 2-1 (6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5)).
A national level tennis coach and former ATP professional is visiting Prince George this week.
Robert Bettauer, a four-time national champion and member of Canada’s Davis Cup team in 1980, is going to be conducting clinics and running a junior tournament at the Prince George Tennis Club from July 11 to 13.
“It’s fantastic,” Jim said. “You can’t get any of this kind of coaching from anybody in town. It’s very valuable, especially for juniors because than they see what kind of coaching they get down south and help them get excited that they could get better tennis coaching or anything.”
Jim said the tournament will be a one-day affair on Saturday. Battauer, also the facilities coordinator for Tennis BC, is also involved with the City and the tennis club in planning the club’s relocation. He’s working on scheduling another visit to Prince George in August.
For more information or to register for a clinic or the tournament, contact the club office at 564-5683.