Tennis event caps Bristol's Fourth of July festivities


Mother Nature dealt a one-two punch on the weekend's John Partington Tennis Tournament, but neither Saturday's blazing heat nor Sunday's torrential rains could deter the nearly 40 tennis enthusiasts from some serious competition.

"We had some very talented, skilled players," said Judy Squires, the tournament organizer. "There was a good mix of high school, college and adult players."

Players endured the 90 plus degree temperatures on Saturday as temperatures continued to heat up the asphalt courts until the day's matched wrapped up at 3:45 p.m.

To beat the heat, tournament officials brought in "tons of water" and had pop-up tents set up where players could seek some shade in between their matches.

Although scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21, the matches stretched into Monday after play was postponed due to heavy rain and to accommodate some of the players' schedules.

On Sunday, matches were scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., Ms. Squires said.

"As people started showing up, the rain came down," she said. "Luckily it was only five teams" that were effected.

Play was delayed until the courts could be cleared of the water, with matches finally resuming at 11 a.m. By 4 p.m., the day's play concluded.

"We already decided to hold matches on Monday," Ms. Squires said.

From 6 to 7:45 p.m., the men's and mixed doubles finals finally concluded.

The event raised $745 to help pay for other Fourth of July festivities, helped by the Squires/Partington families who donated the trophies that were awarded to tournament winners, Gil's Appliances that donated t-shirts given to early entrants and the Gob Shop in Warren that donated a case of tennis balls for the event.

"We had a very good turnout," Ms. Squires said of the 38 competitors, making this year's event "one of the largest tournaments" in its seven year run.



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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.