Drummond three peats at tennis championships

Whitehorse's Laurie Drummond hasn't let a Yukon tennis title slip through her fingers in three years. For the third year in a row, Drummond won all available titles at the Yukon Territorial Tennis Championships, which ended Saturday at the Mount McIntyre courts.

Whitehorse’s Laurie Drummond hasn’t let a Yukon tennis title slip through her fingers in three years.

For the third year in a row, Drummond won all available titles at the Yukon Territorial Tennis Championships, which ended Saturday at the Mount McIntyre courts.

Making it nine titles in three years, Drummond won the women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

“Surprise, relief,” said Drummond, describing her feelings. “I hesitated to try for a third time because I didn’t think it would be possible at all.

“It’s almost like too much, like I’d better quit while I’m ahead.”

Drummond won all three divisions without dropping a match. She won three singles matches in her pool to reach the final, defeating Anne Copland 8-3 in a pro-set.

Her closest singles match was an 8-5 victory over Tanja Burri, a player visiting from Switzerland for the summer. Tied 5-5, Drummond won the final three games, twice breaking Burri’s serve. The win advanced Drummond into the final.

“I think the hardest match out of all of them was my singles match with Tanja,” said Drummond. “It was a hard-fought game… We were both really out of breath from our match.”

Drummond won the women’s doubles with daughter Marisa Johnson, who played NCAA tennis as a student at Eastern Washington University.

“She’s the more reliable of the team when it comes to women’s doubles,” said Drummond. “She doesn’t play hardly at all any more – once or twice – because she has two small children now and life is busy.”

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She then won the mixed doubles with Michel Gelinas.

“He’s a really easy-going guy and really fun to play with,” said Drummond. “Half of the thing about playing tennis in tournaments is getting a partner you can enjoy it with.”

Unlike the women’s doubles, which Drummond won with her daughter all three years, she has captured the mixed title with a different partner each time, last year with Jan Polivka and Van Pham the year before.

On the men’s side of the open, Polivka won his fourth men’s title.

“It was tough. I was playing with Khang Pham, who is one of my students. He is 17, so it was challenging,” said Polivka. “He’s younger than me and is doing really well and has a lot of strength. That was a good match.”

Polivka, who is the head instructor for the Tennis Yukon, defeated Khang 8-4 and second place’s Gelinas 8-2.

The men’s draw was the smallest it has been in years with only the three contenders. Missing were players like 2008 champion Kyle Marchuk, fellow instructor Mike Russo and last year’s runner-up Kieran Halliday.

Twelve-year-old Alex Roberts went undefeated in four matches to win his second junior title at the championships.

“I played the two Syed brothers, Mustafa and Zain, and they were really tough for me,” said Roberts. “They were all tough, but those two stood out for me.”

He won 8-6 over Mustafa and 8-5 over Zain.

Roberts, who represented the Yukon in tennis at the Western Canada Summer Games in Kamloops last year, also became the youngest player to win the men’s doubles, doing so with Polivka.

“I think it went really well,” said Roberts. “It would have been better if we had more people, but I think it was really nice.”

A total of 25 players competed in this year’s championship. For the first time in recent memory, the women’s singles draw was bigger than the men’s with eight women competing for the title.

“The women’s draw was big this year; I don’t think it was any bigger any of the other years,” said Polivka.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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