This is how you do it.
The end of the Winston-Salem Open was unforgettable- for the few dozen people left to witness it. With the Singles Final completed about a third of the crowd stuck around on a nice but windy afternoon to see Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram take on Christopher Kas and Alexander Peya in the Doubles Final. But two rain delays and a couple of hours later and the crowd of hundreds had dwindled into a crowd of approximately two dozen.
The match resumed for a final time around 6:20PM with Erlich and Ram leading 7-6 4-2 0-40. About fifteen minutes later Erlich and Ram had secured their Doubles Championship and Tournament Director Bill Oakes had one last surprise up his sleeve- he invited all the remaining spectators and volunteers onto court for the Trophy Presentation.
It was a classy gesture by a classy guy and gave the die-hard fans an experience they could never forget. Fans even got to hand out the trophies. Erlich, Ram, Kas, and Peya were incredibly gracious. They posed for pictures with everyone and gave heartfelt speeches- sans microphones- thanking Bill, the volunteers, and the fans who stayed to support them.
What a great end to a stellar week of tennis. Southern hospitality at it’s finest.
(photo courtesy of Susan Mullane)