Polivka, Pritchett nab Yukon tennis titles

Whitehorse's Jan Polivka has now been the Yukon champ for half a decade. Polivka, who is the head instructor for Tennis Yukon, won his fifth straight men’s singles title at the 2013 Yukon Tennis Championships at the Mount McIntyre courts last Friday.

Whitehorse’s Jan Polivka has now been the Yukon champ for half a decade.

Polivka, who is the head instructor for Tennis Yukon, won his fifth straight men’s singles title at the 2013 Yukon Tennis Championships at the Mount McIntyre courts last Friday.

Under a sprinkle of rain, Polivka defeated runner-up Ken Liao 8-1 in the final. In fact, the two finalists decided to play a pro-set instead of a best-two-out-of-three-set match for fear of being rained out. Had the match been postponed, Polivka would have had to forfeit due to vacation plans.

“We had a lot of fun over the week, so that was good,” said Polivka. “This match was good – it could have been better if the weather was a little bit better … It’s starting to be a little bit slippery, so we had to be careful.”

It was Polivka’s sixth consecutive appearance in the men’s final, losing his first in 2008 when he was still new to the territory.

Last Friday marked Liao’s first trip to the men’s final.

“It’s cooled down a bit. For me, I need more time to warm up,” said Liao. “I worked hard this summer because it’s been so nice. I try to come and play and practise more this summer.”

Polivka also captured the mixed doubles title with partner Anne Copland with a win over Don Barker and women’s singles finalist Maya Reindlova.

The championships were supposed to have wrapped up last Friday, but rain delays played havoc with the schedule.

Whitehorse’s Nicola Pritchett didn’t have a chance to play for her first women’s singles title until Wednesday.

Pritchett took the title with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Reindlova, who was playing in her first Yukon championship.

“For me, it’s about fun,” said Pritchett. “I love playing tennis. We have an awesome tennis community here. It’s just a gem.

“I met Maya last week and we were all out playing tennis … and we had a doubles (match) and it was fabulous.”

“I know where I made the mistakes,” said Reindlova. “I was nervous from the challenge. When you have to count the points you start to get a little bit nervous.

“But it was nice. I enjoyed it.”

Play intensified in the second set with long rallies as both players went on the defensive, hoping the other would make the error.

“The thing is, you’d like the other person to make the mistake,” said Reindlova. “I was trying in the first set to hit it faster and stronger, but it didn’t work for me.”

Whitehorse’s Laurie Drummond, who won the women’s singles the last three years, did not compete at this year’s championship.

Pritchett, and partner Fleur Marsella, went undefeated in the women’s doubles round-robin to capture that title as well. Copland and Nancy Hughes were the runner-ups.

The men’s doubles wrapped up Monday with Kieran Halliday and Kevin Patterson defeating the father-son team of Shahid and Zain Syed 6-3, 6-2.

“It’s kind of weird for me because I’m actually from Nova Scotia and have only been here three months,” said Patterson. “But it feels nice.”

“This tournament is great … I just hope I can keep the level of play up there because it’s always good to have good players for everyone to watch,” said Halliday.

Halliday represented Yukon at the Canada Summer Games earlier this month in Quebec. Continuous play at the Games strained his serving arm, which kept him out of the singles draw, he said.

He and Patterson used a double-baseline strategy for much of the final.

“That me. I’m just more comfortable at the back,” said Patterson. “(Halliday) is a really good poacher at the net, so he might as well take the balls when he can get them and put them away.”

Kieran is not the only Halliday to be etched on a trophy.

Ewan Halliday went undefeated in the under-14 boys championship. Ben Kischuk placed second and Simon Kischuk third.

In the junior B division, playing on the three-quarter courts, Pascale Halliday – yes, another one – went undefeated for the title. Amanda Thomson was the runner-up and Jaxson Fitzsimmons took third.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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