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2018 APTA Men’s Nationals Recap
March 8-11, 2018
Riding a four-tournament winning streak, and having not suffered a loss together since October, the top seeds, John Hughes and Marc Powers were the favorites coming into the 2018 APTA National Championships. Since 2010, however, Drew Broderick, Jared Palmer, Johan du Randt, and Mark Parsons had dominated the tournament, and wresting the title away from them for the first time in nine years would be no easy task.
There were three early round upsets—Adam Gart/Thomas Nolan defeated Sven Burus/Roman Stoisavljevic (9), Nathan Crick and Randy Lofgren beat Scott Falatek and Vlatko Najdek (10), and Mark Barry and Brian Heil (13) fell to Anthony Cosimano and Brett Kraft—but all matches in the Round of 16 went according to form and the top eight seeds all reached the quarterfinals. There were a few scares for the higher seeds though; Gart/Nolan almost notched their second upset against Ryan Baxter and Ricky Heath (6), with Baxter/Heath squeaking by, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6. In what was arguably the match of the tournament, Max LePivert and Casey Watt (14) lost a heartbreaker to Juan Arraya and Jeffrey Morneau (3). LePivert and Watt had a total of four match points over the course of the second and third sets, but Arraya and Morneau found a way to hang in there for nearly three hours of physical, incredibly well-played paddle, and came out 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 winners.
Three of the quarterfinal matches were straight setters. Sebastian Bredberg was left without a partner when Martin Bostrom got injured just before the tournament, but he was lucky that Mikk Irdoja was available at the last minute. They proved to be a fine team, beating Paulo Gonzalez and Michael Montalbano (12) in the Round of 16, and forcing Hughes/Powers into a tough first set battle in the quarters, finally succumbing to the top-seeds, 7-5, 6-2. Du Randt/Parsons continued their straight set march through the draw, beating Baxter/Heath, 6-4, 6-3. Broderick/Palmer also continued to cruise, losing only four games to Rob Bakker and Tyler Fraser (5). The lone three-setter was also the lone upset. The arduous match against LePivert/Watt earlier in the day took its toll on last year’s finalists, making a tough matchup against the always tricky team of Steve DeRose and Jon Lubow even tougher. Arraya/Morneau were able to get the first set in a tiebreaker, but couldn’t hold on to the lead, and DeRose/Lubow moved onto the semis, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.
After losing the first set in the semis quickly to Broderick/Palmer, DeRose/Lubow put up a good fight in the second but still lost in straight sets. After two straight set losses in Boston and in Philadelphia to Hughes/Powers, du Randt and Parsons looked primed to get their revenge. Hughes/Powers got off to a quick start and took the first set 6-2, but du Randt/Parsons showed why they won two National Championships together, taking the second set 6-2. Displaying the form that’s made them the best team this season, Hughes/Powers came out strong in the third and took the match, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
Winning the Nationals three years in a row is quite an impressive feat, and no one, least of all Hughes and Powers, thought unseating Broderick/Palmer would be an easy task. But this year belonged to Hughes/Powers. Although Broderick/Palmer didn’t go down easily, Hughes/Powers came up big when they needed to and fittingly becoming the 2018 APTA National Champions.
Thank you to Tournament Directors Shannon Vinson, John Noble, and Alan Graham, and the entire tournament committee for putting together a fantastic four-day event.
Main Draw: John Hughes/Marc Powers def. Drew Broderick/Jared Palmer, 7-6, 6-4
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Rob Bakker/Tyler Fraser def. Ryan Baxter/Ricky Heath, 6-2, 6-3
Round of 16 Reprieve: William Colmar/Adam Morgan def. Nathan Crick/Randy Lofgren, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4
Round of 32 Reprieve: Ben McKnight/Pete Rose def. Todd Hiscox/ Patricio Misitrano, 7-6, 7-5
Round of 64 Consolation: Scott Freund/Alex Hume def. Alex Lambropoulos/Ryan Mullaney III, 6-2, 6-4
Round of 128 Consolation: Peter Hantack/Jason Love def. William Gates/Garrett Gates, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
Last Chance: Nick Bergman/Marcel Lima def. Josh Kritzler/Jeff Sternberg, 4-6, 6-0, 6-4
Photos below by Lauri Harris
Created with flickr slideshow.