They may have been the longest running Yukon Territorial Tennis Championships. They began on Aug. 19, and with bad weather and other delays, ran all the way to this past Monday.
But the championships ended with a good one.
Jan Polivka and Anne Copland won the mixed doubles title with a 9-7 pro-set win over the runner-up mother-son team of Vickie Roche and Kyle Marchuk at Whitehorse’s Mount McIntyre.
“It was a good match,” said Copland. “At one point we were down match point … we got that point back and it was good.
“Playing with Jan, he covers the court so well. I don’t run as fast or cover the court as well as he does, but he’s really good to play with.”
It was a very cordial final, with plenty of friendly banter back and forth. The scoring was also very back and forth.
Polivka and Copland jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Marchuk and Roche went up 6-3. The eventual champs fought off a match point for Marchuk and Roche at 7-6, winning the last three games for the match.
“We did have a match point,” said Marchuk, a former men’s singles champ. “One point away, but c’est la vie. They played really well.”
“Jan was just hitting it harder and harder as we went along,” said Roche. “It was harder and harder to return. He’s a good player, so is Ann.”
The mixed title was Copland’s second of the lengthy championships. She teamed up with Fleur Marsella to win the women’s doubles title in an 8-3 win over runner-ups Nancy Hughes and Maya Reindlova.
Polivka was two games away from his sixth men’s singles title last week before Justin Halowaty fought back from a set down to win it.
“Usually I start out slow; it takes a bit to get into the serve,” said Halowaty. “In a pro-set I would have been done like dinner because he was already up 6-1.
“With serve and volleying, I have to get my serve in – in a bit of a rhythm – and usually that takes a few games.”
Halowaty won his second men’s title with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over Polivka. He won his first title in the early 2000s but has been absent from the championships the last few years.
“He was a better player today,” said Polivka, following the singles final. “I was playing really well in the first (set). And I wouldn’t say I was playing bad in the second, Justin just started to play really well in the second and in the third he crushed me.
“I still played well in the second set, but then I started to make a lot of errors. I missed a few important balls and he started to get really confident.”
Halowaty also won the men’s doubles title with Kevin Patterson, beating Shahid Syed and Zain Syed in the final.
Aline Halliday’s first run in the open women’s division was a good one.
The 17-year-old from Whitehorse won her first women’s title in the first week of the championship.
“This is my first time playing in the women’s category instead of the junior category, so it went pretty well, I was pretty happy with it,” said Halliday. “They were all good matches and it was really fun to play with all the girls and ladies. It was really good.”
Halliday went undefeated in four round-robin matches for the title. Her closest matches were 8-4 pro-set wins over Nancy Hughes and Maya Reindlova.
Her win over Hughes stands out as a tough one, she said.
“That was a really close match,” said Halliday. “She had me running all over the place. That was really fun – all the matches were really good to play.”
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