THE conclusion of the 66th Sale Tennis Club championships, already delayed by a week because of rain, was pushed back into Sunday afternoon following more wet weather.
An overnight thunderstorm and a downpour delayed the play until 2pm.
Club curator Bruce Carter saved the day with some well-timed court mopping and play was able to get under way. The conditions improved steadily as the day progressed and a stiff breeze kept the rain at bay and the courts dry.
In the open women’s singles, the club saw the eighth different winner in nine years as Jo Rule played well to defeat last year’s winner Masami Goold. This was Rule’s first Sale championship win but, with her strong serve and solid all-round game, she may be able to buck the trend and defend the title next year.
Rule is the 23nd woman to have her name engraved on the Sharpe Cup for women’s open champion.
As well as winning the open women’s singles, Rule was victorious in the doubles with Christine Shingles and the mixed doubles with Tim Dunnett.
In the largest draw in 10 years, Abe Schuback and Peter Chappell won through to the final of the men’s open singles.
Schuback was clinical in winning in straight sets to clinch his 12th consecutive club championship. This is a remarkable achievement that has only been done once before in the history of the WF McLoghlin Perpetual Trophy, where Schuback remains only the 17th winner in 66 years.
Hunter Pearce defended his under 18 boys’ singles title, despite being eligible for the under 16s. Pearce defeated Darcy Cumming, who was playing in his first under 18s final.
Sen Goold took out the under 12 boys’ Singles, was runner up in the under 14 boys’ singles and took out the family doubles with his mother Masami.
Life member Bruce Carter, a six-time club champion who played his first club championships in 17 years, was hampered by a dodgy shoulder, but still made it to the open men’s doubles final with Dunnett, going down to Schuback and Cal Board.
The reintroduced family doubles event proved popular, with a large field of enthusiastic players. It was the first opportunity for many parents to play a match with their children and it is unknown whether the mums and dads or the children enjoyed it most.