Since 1961, top-flite area tennis players, current and former collegiate stars, and club professionals have coveted a spot in the draw at Manursing Island Club’s Richardson Invitational Men’s Doubles Tournament. The finals of this year’s edition of the tournament, named in honor of club member Tom Richardson, was held August 6 in near-perfect weather.

Spectators were treated to their share of power tennis in the final, but the players also demonstrated precise touch shots, hyper-fast net play, and well-timed lobs. When the entertaining shotmaking was over, Spaniards Axel Alvarez and José

Salazar, former Big 12 stars at University of Oklahoma and University of Arkansas respectively, defeated Ryan Thacher, who played for Stanford, and Manursing’s own Brian O’Connor, a former Binghamton star, in the final 6-3, 6-7, 6-1. The runners-up showed savvy in extending the match after saving match point in the second-set tiebreaker.

The trophies were presented by Albie Collins, a mentor and coach of many of Manursing’s best players. As a collegiate player, Collins led Dartmouth to an undefeated season as a senior. In 2001, the Ivy League renamed its championship trophy in his honor.

  • <Tom McDermott>

Runners-up Ryan Thacher and Manursing’s Brian O’Connor after their semi-final win.

Albie Collins presented trophies to winners José Salazar, left, and Axel Alvarez