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2017 APTA Nationals
Draws, News & LinksMen's Draw Final
Women's Draw Final
Men's & Women's National Championships
Women's & Men's Viking President's Cups
March 10-12, 2017
Tournament Director Tim McAvoy
Drew Broderick and Jared Palmer Take Men’s Title for the 3rd year in a row at APTA Nationals
Throughout the 2016-2017 season, the teams ranked three through ten fought to distinguish themselves and make the “big two” of Drew Broderick/Jared Palmer and Johan du Randt/Mark Parsons a “big three.” Juan Arraya and Jeff Morneau were the team able to pull away from the pack and join the uppermost echelon of the men’s game, but the real test would come at Nationals, where they were the most likely candidates to disrupt another Broderick/Palmer vs. Parsons/du Randt final.
The early rounds were marked by a few close calls for seeded teams. In the round of 32, the sixteenth seeds, Ajay Khurana and Mike Wagner dropped a set to Bhaskar Chowdhury and Neel Roy, the ninth seeds Steve DeRose and Jon Lubow escaped in a third set tiebreaker against Mark Innes and Trevor Spracklin, Rob Bakker and Flip Goodspeed won the first set in a losing effort against the fourteenth seeds, Scott Falatek and Vlatko Najdek, fourteenth seeded Anton Bobytskyi and Bernard Schoeman narrowly escaped 7-5 in the third in their win over Andrea Bonfigli and Javier Ferrin-Kranewitter, and Ryan Baxter and Ricky Heath survived a 6-3 in the third set challenge from Paulo Gonzalez and Ben Williams. Jeronie Barnes and Peter Berka were the only seeded team unable to emerge from the third round, with the fifteenth seeds falling in straight sets to Anthony Cosimano and Brett Kraft. With the exception of Martin Bostrom and Sebastian Bredberg’s defeat of the seventh seeds, Mikk Irdoja and Dan Regan in the round of 16, the men’s seedings held up in the round of 16 and in the quarterfinals.
After only losing three games in their first four matches, the top seeded duo of Broderick and Palmer got all they could handle in the quarterfinals. Marek Czerwinski and APTA Hall-of-Famer Chris Gambino, who beat Steve DeRose and Jon Lubow in a three set Round of 16 match, played the match of the tournament against the two-time defending champions. With the tension mounting in a tight third set, Czerwinski/Gambino saved a match point at 4-5 before going on to hold three match points of their own at 6-5. With hundreds of fans glued to the action and a huge upset seemingly inevitable, Palmer came up with a few huge shots and he and Broderick evened the score at 6-6. In the tiebreaker, Broderick/Palmer raced out to a 6-2 lead, but the match wasn’t over yet. Czerwinski/Gambino fought back to 6-6, but the two-time defending champions held on, taking the next two points and securing an incredibly hard fought victory.
The three other quarterfinals were relatively straightforward affairs. In the other match on the top half of the draw, the fourth seeds, John Hughes and Mark Powers, beat the fifth seeds, Scott Kahler and Casey Watt, 7-6, 6-1. On the bottom of the draw, Arraya/Morneau took out sixth seeded Max LePivert and George Wilkinson in a match that didn’t end until almost 11 PM and du Randt/Parsons dismissed Bostrom/Bredberg, 6-2, 6-4.
The semifinalists had dominated the Nationals in recent years. Du Randt had played in every National final since 2010, winning three of them, two with Parsons and one with Jerry Albrikes. Parsons had been to five of those finals himself, winning one with Mike Stulac and two with du Randt. Although never a finalist, Arraya had reached six straight National semifinals, quite an accomplishment in itself. Rounding out the semifinal teams, Broderick/Palmer were the two-time defending champs. Only Morneau was a newcomer going deep in a Nationals draw.
On Sunday morning, Broderick/Palmer showed that they recovered overnight from their near loss in the quarters, defeating Hughes/Powers, 6-4, 6-1. The other semifinal featured a rematch of the Boston Open finals, where Arraya/Morneau saved a match point before scoring the upset against du Randt/Parsons. Du Randt/Parsons looked ready to turn the tables, going up 5-2 in the first set. Somehow, Arraya/Morneau were able to eke out the first set in a tiebreaker, and then raised their game, taking the second set 6-1.
Without du Randt in the finals for the first time in eight years, the last match of the tournament had a different look. Arraya/Morneau hoped they could reverse the results of the Short Hills finals, where they lost to Broderick/Palmer in two tight sets, but Broderick/Palmer displayed the kind of consistent, impenetrable play that had earned them the National title for the past two years, and won the match 6-4, 6-1. Despite the lopsided score, the fans watching in person and on Live Streaming were treated to a final that showcased the inconceivable shotmaking and athleticism of these top players.
Thank you to Tournament Director Tim McAvoy, Keith Studnick, Tom Safford, and the entire tournament committee for organizing an exceptional weekend. Much appreciation to all the hut commanders and volunteers who created a wonderful atmosphere for all the players and fans. Thank you also to host club Waynesborough Country Club, and all of the other area clubs who donated their courts.
Main Draw: Drew Broderick/Jared Palmer def. Juan Arraya/Jeff Morneau, 6-4, 6-1
16 Reprieve: Anton Bobytskyi/Bernard Schoeman def. Scott Falatek/Vlatko Najdek, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
32 Reprieve: Gustavo Goncalves/Graham McNerney def. Jeronie Barnes/Peter Berka, 6-4, 6-0
64 Consolation: Todd Hiscox/Patricio Misitrano def. Lucas Green/Victor Vidal, 6-3, 6-4
128 Consolation: Steven Hall/Andrew Tomson def. Eric Miller/Claes Persson, 6-3, 6-4
128 Consolation Reprieve: Josep Baro/John Cassas def. Matthew Fawcett/Patrick Kelly, 6-2, 6-3
As President’s Cup ended Thursday night and all eyes turned to the Nationals draws, one couldn’t help but wonder if anyone in the 96 team women’s competition could unseat defending Nationals Champions Gabriela Niculescu and Martina Ondrejkova, who hadn’t lost a single match all season. If anyone was going to prevent Niculescu/Ondrejkova from repeating, the smart money bet on either second seeds Cynthia Dardis and Amy Shay, who pushed the top seeds to a third set at the Boston Open, or the third seeds, Liz Cruz and Roxy Enica, who fell to them in three tough sets in the finals of the Short Hills Invitational.
Few would have guessed that the ninth seeds, Florentina Hanisch and Annica van Starrenburg, would be the giant slayers. Hanisch/van Starrenburg, who have rapidly improved over the last few months, gave several signs that they could compete at the top earlier this season, holding three match points in a loss to Dardis/Shay at Chicago Charities and losing to Cruz/Enica in three grueling sets at Short Hills.
If Hanisch and van Starrenburg were going to win this title, they would have to get through what was undoubtedly the toughest path to the title in APTA Nationals history. In their first match, Hanisch/van Starrenburg drew the team no one wanted to see in their part of the draw, former National Champions and APTA Hall-of-Famers Cindy Prendergast and Lauren Zink. After dispatching Prendergast/Zink, Hanisch/van Starrenburg met another unheralded team on the rise, Katie Adams and Molly Brown. Adams/Brown took a set from Niculescu/Ondrejkova at Short Hills, and after losing to Hanisch/van Starrenburg at Nationals, they went on to win the 32 Reprieve draw, beating tough teams including Denise Murphy and Lynne Schneebeck and Cooey Lyon and Charlotte Sikora along the way. In the Round of 16, Hanisch/van Starrenburg were down a set and 3-0 to sixth-seeded Kerri Delmonico and Jessica Guyaux before coming all the way back for the win. Van Starrenburg believed that the tough draw helped them, saying, “Those tough early rounds made a huge difference. We could not let up on a single point the whole tournament, but we had specific game plans for each opponent, and we executed when we needed to.”
While reaching the quarterfinals was already quite an accomplishment, Hanisch/van Starrenburg weren’t satisfied with that result. Confident that they could compete with Niculescu/Ondrejkova, Hanisch/van Starrenburg pulled off the upset of the season, coming back from losing the first set to hand the top seeds their first loss of the season and move on to the semifinals. Gracious in defeat, Martina Ondrejkova noted, “We can’t be too upset about losing because they played really well.”
Soon after notching the huge upset, Hanisch/van Starrenburg were back on the court, mindful of not suffering a letdown after such a big win. In the semifinals, they faced Ania Kazakevich and Heather Prop, who headlined the 2016 Nationals with their huge upset of two-time defending champions Ana Brzova and Viki Stoklosova. In the first meeting between these two teams, Hanisch/van Starrenburg dismantled the fourth seeds in straight sets.
On the other side of the draw, Dardis/Shay and Cruz/Enica reached the semifinals as expected, albeit in very different way. Dardis/Shay cruised through the early rounds, only losing thirteen games en route to the semifinals. Cruz/Enica’s road to the semis was anything but easy. After getting through two snowy, early round matches relatively unscathed, they survived a huge scare against the fourteenth seeds Agata Cioroch and Lisa Teer in the Round of 16, coming back from a 4-1 deficit in the third set. Things didn’t get any easier for the third seeds in the quarters, losing the first set to seventh seeds Suzanne Lemery and Kelly Rohrbach before winning their second straight 6-4 third set.
Cruz/Enica had won all three meetings with Dardis/Shay this season, but their last match at Short Hills came down to a third set tiebreaker, and their encounter in The Midwesterns’ final also went three sets. In this match, Dardis/Shay came out strong, making very few errors and using their high, deep lobs to prevent Cruz/Enica from going on the offensive with their overheads. This strategy appeared sound as Dardis/Shay won the first set convincingly and continued to impose their game on Cruz/Enica in the second set. A few long, back and forth deuce/ad games turned the tide, however, and Cruz/Enica snuck away with the second set. Neither team dominated the third set, but Cruz/Enica were able to come up with the break at 4-4 and serve out the match.
The finals showcased the four finalists’ athleticism and racquet skills. Ultimately, Hanisch/van Starrenburg were able to use their favorite play, the low return followed by the blitz, to gain the edge in the final. Very little separated the two teams in the first set, which Hanisch/van Starrenburg won in a tiebreaker. After going down 5-1 in the second set, Cruz/Enica mounted a challenge, but Hanisch/van Starrenburg closed the set out 6-4 and with the victory, claimed their first National Championship.
Thank you to Tournament Director Tim McAvoy, Keith Studnick, Tom Safford, and the entire tournament committee for organizing an exceptional weekend. The snowy conditions on Friday made the first few rounds difficult, and the committee and hut commanders did an admirable job of keeping things on track. Thank you also to host club Waynesborough Country Club, and all of the other area clubs who donated their courts.
Main Draw: Florentina Hanisch/Annica van Starrenburg def. Liz Cruz/Roxy Enica, 7-6, 6-4
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Gabriela Niculescu/Martina Ondrejkova def. Suzanne Lemery/Kelly Rohrbach, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
16 Reprieve: Mirian Cruz/Marcela Rodezno def. Laura Berendt/Jane McNitt, 6-1, 7-5
32 Reprieve: Katie Adams/Molly Brown def. Cooey Lyon/Charlotte Sikora, 6-7, 6-2, 6-1
64 Consolation: Erin Ortiz/Diane Straus def. Stella Ip/Leila Safford, 7-5, 6-4
64 Consolation Reprieve: Spencer Caravaggio/Sarah Lynch def. Andrea Dutton/Leslie Lane, 7-5, 6-2
128 Consolation: Jessica Fisher/Sarah Layton def. Valerie Alliger-Bograd/Meryl Otis Kessler, 6-4, 6-3
128 Consolation Reprieve: Anne Lehigh/Winslow Waxter def. Susannah Najdek/Robin Newman, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
128 Lucky Loser Reprieve: Alyce Dwyer/Nindy Pike def. Suzie Fenimore/Christi Neilly, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6