Team New England Wins the 2021 Whitney Cup

Team New England, after a 12-year drought, beat New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC to win the 2021 Whitney Cup during the weekend of December 9-12 at the Racquet and Tennis Club in New York City.

The Payne Whitney Memorial Cup is an amateur doubles competition among all of the court tennis clubs in the United States and features the best amateurs in the country. There are five doubles teams for each competition, including one senior (55+) pair. Team New England is comprised of the best players from the Tennis & Racquet Club in Boston and the National Tennis Club at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which was represented by Pete Dickinson, Jeremy Wintersteen, and Patrick Winthrop.

Each of the five doubles teams for New England won important victories to enable New England to beat Philadelphia 4-1, New York 3-2 and, in the finals, Washington 4-1.

In the #3 position, Hudson and Wintersteen played the first match of each competition. Hudson as the “up” player and Wintersteen as the “back” player were a natural pairing. All three matches for the pairing were statistical toss-ups based on player rankings. However, Wintersteen’s floor game coupled with Hudson’s solid volleying led the team to victory in all three of its matches, enabling New England to start each competition 1-0.

Meringoff and Winthrop played in the #1 position and easily dispatched their New York and Washington opponents in straight sets. The #1 position was the second pairing to play in each competition, and the victories by Meringoff and Winthrop against New York and Washington sent New England to a 2-0 lead in both competitions, leaving New England with three opportunities to win one match to claim the competition. Winthrop is a native Newporter and was introduced to the game at a young age after being a ballboy for the Hall of Fame Open. He is also a product of the John Lieb Fund of the US Court Tennis Preservation Foundation, which was formed after the passing of Newport’s John Lieb. He has been a staple at the #1 position for Team New England for a number of years.

Dickinson, in his first Whitney Cup, and Spence were paired at the #2 position and delivered an important victory in the third match of the competition against Philadelphia in another statistical toss-up, enabling New England to take a 2-1 lead going into the final two matches, both of which were won by New England. Dickinson grew up in Newport / Middletown and has been part of NTC’s Player Development Program for years. He is also part of the winning Van Alen and Clothier Cup teams, which is an international competition between the US & England and US & Australia.

Tedeschi and Herlihy were underdogs against a tough Washington team in the Sunday final. With hard hitting opponents, Tedeschi and Herlihy agreed on an unorthodox strategy prior to the match for both players to stay back on the service side, while going out of their way to find the higher handicap player. The strategy and steady play led the pairing to an exciting three set victory that clinched the Whitney Cup for New England.

Bell and Horine played in the senior position in the deciding match against New York on Saturday evening to determine which team would face Washington in the final. In front of packed dedans and galleries, Bell and Horine dispatched their opponents 6/0 6/1. In their second Whitney Cup as partners, Bell and Horine survived a few scares in the final match against Washington, but the pairing won all three matches in the competition without dropping a set.

This marked the first year since 2009 when New England last won the Whitney Cup. Many thanks go to Head Professional Mike Gooding for helping to train players and get the team ready. Congratulations to Team New England and its Newport participants.

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