Victorians capture tennis tournament 

Injury knocks down undefeated Vernon at Men's Miele Team Tennis Provincial Championships

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - eye on the ball Vernon's Riku Komiya pays close attention to a ball during the final of the Men's Miele Team Tennis Provincial Championships.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • eye on the ball Vernon's Riku Komiya pays close attention to a ball during the final of the Men's Miele Team Tennis Provincial Championships.

Victoria's Under the Radar tennis team might not be able to live up to the moniker any longer.

The club captured the Men's Miele Team Tennis Provincial Championships for divisions 3.0 to 3.5 at Whistler Racquet Club on Aug. 30.

In the final, Under the Radar defeated the Vernon Tennis Association two matches to one. In team tennis, each showdown comprises of two doubles matches and a singles match.

Vernon had entered the title matches undefeated with a 5-0 record, while Victoria was just a notch behind at 4-1.

The difference in the championship meeting ended up being caused by an injury to Vernon's Loren Guenette, who was forced to withdraw, giving Victoria one doubles match victory. The squads then split the remaining two matches.

Under the Radar captain Bill Bradley noted the side also took the Victoria city championship to earn a berth at provincials on the last night of play, helping the team acclimate to high-pressure situations.

"It would be nicer if we did it earlier, but we've managed to prevail at the very end," said Bradley, a past tournament champion with a different club. "You're never out (of it). We're called Under the Radar for a reason because we just kind of slip under there."

Bradley credited teammates Ted Davies, Jack Rekis, Tom Braybrook and Gabor Csaksny in helping Under the Radar triumph, especially after acknowledging Vernon as the favourites heading into the final day of action.

"Everybody played a part. We all won some. We all lost a few," he said. "Overall, we managed to win when it counted.

"There's four of us that play regularly together, so we know how to cover each other. It seems that if one fellow is a little off, the other is able to step it up."

The tournament was originally slated to be played outdoors at the Whistler Racquet Club, but rainy weather forced all matches to be played indoors and leave organizers scrambling to condense the action to three courts from seven. Ultimately, they were able to make a go of it and get everything off only slightly behind schedule.

Bradley said the last-minute switch didn't rattle his club, though there's generally a preference to enjoy the fresh air.

"It was just disappointing, because it's such a beautiful environment, to not play outside, especially after a summer of sunshine," he said. "But the inside facility, this is a fabulous facility here."

Vernon captain Alain Brunelle said the club's primary objective was to have a good time and the success they enjoyed was an enjoyable byproduct.

"We beat a few teams in the Okanagan and coming here was kind of a gift for us to get together for the weekend," he said. "You meet great people and it was awesome.

"The chemistry on our team was so good. We were laughing on the court and being relaxed. Win or lose, we didn't really care. We just wanted to go play good tennis."

Gary Edwards, Misoo Han, Riku Komiya and James Cotter rounded out the squad.

Whistler sent a team to the tournament, but the young side was knocked out early after posting a 0-5 record. However, four of the five decisions came by a tight 2-1 score. Serge Arseneau, Dominic Von Wyl, Walter Wallgram, Mooshon Mizrachi, Richard Harley, Tai Tran, Robert LeBlanc, Ben Cherniavsky and Grant Sun all signed up to represent the club.


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