Polivka nabs sixth Yukon tennis title

Whitehorse's Jan Polivka is back on top. After a string of five straight singles titles came to an end last year, the 34-year-old was again the trophy winner at the Yukon Territorial Tennis Championships.

Whitehorse’s Jan Polivka is back on top.

After a string of five straight singles titles came to an end last year, the 34-year-old was again the trophy winner at the Yukon Territorial Tennis Championships at the Mount McIntyre courts on Friday.

Polivka captured his sixth men’s singles title with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Kyle Marchuk in the final.

“I beat Kyle, which is surprising,” said Polivka. “Whenever Kyle plays (in the championship) we always play finals.

“Kyle is better than me. He’d probably win four out of five matches, so it definitely feels good.”

It was the third singles final the two hard-hitting baseliners met in since 2008 when Marchuk took it. Polivka later beat Marchuk in the 2010 final.

In the straight-set win, Polivka fought back from down a break in the first set. Marchuk, who downed defending champ Justin Halowaty in the semifinal, then fought back from down 3-0 in the second set and evened it to 5-5 before Polivka won two more games for the title.

“We both didn’t play well, unfortunately. We can play better,” said Polivka, who advanced to the final with a win over 2013 runner-up Ken Liao.

While Polivka regained his title, Whitehorse’s Vickie Roche did the same three times over.

Roche won the women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles titles at the month-long championship that wrapped up Friday.

“I certainly had help. I played with my son Kyle Marchuk in the mixed and he’s a very good player,” said Roche. “And I was with Laurie Drummond, who is also a very good player, in the ladies’ doubles.”

Roche won her first singles title since 2009 with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Anne Copland.

Roche and Drummond clinched the doubles title with a 6-1, 7-6 win over Copland and Nancy Hughes.

Roche and Marchuk, who lost in the mixed final last year, topped runner-ups Drummond and Michel Gelinas for the title this time around.

The mother-son team of Roche and Marchuk wasn’t the only family win at this year’s championship.

Whitehorse brothers Kieran and Ewan Halliday went undefeated in three round robin matches to win the men’s doubles title ahead of runner-ups Gelinas and Shahid Sayed.

“I really enjoyed the format (this year). Usually you only play one weekend and you get pretty sore by the end of the weekend, especially if you’re trying to play two or three matches,” said Roche. “Usually it’s too much tennis in one weekend. But what we did was spread it out over a month and a half, or whatever it was, and it was far more enjoyable for most.”

Contact Tom Patrick at


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