It’s the defending champs against the young pretenders as the two strongest lineups in corporate tennis prepare for the Magnum Cup final on Thursday.
And the gloves were well and truly off as the rival skippers of holders KPMG and contenders DMS traded verbal volleys in the build up to the contest at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman courts.
The two teams have already crossed paths in a gruelling league season that saw 16 teams, including more than 200 players, compete across two divisions.
DMS topped the A-League table in the regular season, with KPMG second. But the cup and the glory will be decided as the two teams battle in the final.
Richard Harrison, captain of DMS, expects a repeat of the victory over KPMG.
He said: “I am very confident about my team, but I am told KPMG have brought in a couple of ringers for the final, so it will be an interesting contest.”
Chris van de Water, the KMPG captain, believes his rival is showing signs of nervousness.
“We’re really stoked to have made the final and are amused by Rich’s comments. Clearly, he is shuddering in his tennis shoes,” he said.
Part social, part serious competition, the commercial tennis league, organised by Ritz-Carlton tennis director Thomas Neuert, is filled with friendly rivalry. But when the pre-match banter stops, both captains will be keen to take the trophy.
Van de Water said his team was stunned by their opening day defeat to DMS and are determined for revenge.
“After that, we sat down at the drawing board, regrouped, and battled through the rest of the season. Through a few strokes of fortune and pure guts, we have edged into the finals by game differential only.
“Thanks to Thomas and his team for organising another epic tournament, and we are hopeful that we can turn the tables on DMS and snatch a second title.”
Harrison said his team will be equally keen to snatch victory.
“It is a corporate league, so it is very social, but we still have some competitive people on the team and we want to win.”
Neuert said this match promises to be the most exciting of the season and encourages anyone interested to watch from 7.15pm. The format features men’s doubles, women’s doubles and an any-combination doubles contest, with six players required for each team.
The Corporate Team Tennis League started in spring 2012 with 12 teams. It has expanded to 16 teams, featuring the competitive A-League and the more social B-League.
HSBC were the victors in the B-League final on 28 May, defeating The Security Centre, 2-1, in a closely contested final. They will be promoted to the top division for the next corporate tennis tournament.
“Thanks to Thomas and his team for organising another epic tournament, and we are hopeful that we can turn the tables on DMS and snatch a second title.” CHRIS VAN DE WATER, KPMG