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2019 PNC APTA Women’s Nationals Preview
March 4, 2019
The top seeds in the women’s draw, Florentina Hanisch and Annica van Starrenburg, dominated the Grand Prix circuit this season, winning three out of the five titles. Their play has earned them the top seeding and the designation as solid favorites to add a second APTA National Championship to the one they won in 2017. Their victory is by no means a foregone conclusion, however, as there are many other teams in the draw who can go the distance and win the title.
No one would be surprised if any of the teams seeded two through four won the title. Laura Berendt and Roxy Enica (2) started off their partnership this season by reaching the semifinals in Philadelphia, which they followed up with a win at Chicago Charities. They continued to post solid results all season, reaching another Grand Prix semifinal at The Midwesterns and getting to the finals in Boston.
The third seeds, Liz Cruz and Gabriela Niculescu, didn’t play much this season due to Niculescu’s pregnancy and the birth of her son in December. They got back on the court at Short Hills in February, and although they lost in the quarterfinals to Martina Ondrejkova and Viktoria Stoklasova, Cruz/Niculescu are the reigning APTA National Champions and another team will have to have a great run to take the title away from them.
Seeded fourth, Jade Curtis and Viktoria Stoklasova have made a case for themselves as the favorites to win Nationals this year. They won the Boston Open, the only Grand Prix tournament they played together, beating Hanisch/van Starrenburg in the semifinals in convincing fashion. They also won the other two tournaments they played together, the Long Island Invitational and the CT Classic. The combination of Stoklasova’s experience as a two-time APTA National Champion and Curtis’ rapidly improving game will be tough to beat.
There are other teams outside of the top four who have legitimate chances to make a deep run in the draw. Local favorite Jessica Guyaux and partner Myrthe Molenveld (6) had a great start to the year winning the Patterson Open, and posted semifinal finishes at the Grand Prix tournaments in Cincinnati and Philadelphia. Kerri Delmonico and Lauren Gebbia (8) upset Berendt and Enica to reach the semifinals at Short Hills, and are always a threat to take out one of the top teams. Marcella Rodezno Hernandez/Mirian Warner (9)and Martina Ondrejkova/Ana Zubori (10) are teams that posted good results last season but haven’t played together as much this year. Finally, the most interesting threat to the top teams might be the sixteenth seeds, Ana Brzova and Amy Shay. Shay and Cynthia Dardis would have been the third seeds at Nationals, but with Dardis sidelined with a shoulder injury, Shay paired up with three-time APTA National Champion Ana Brzova. Despite their lack of experience as a team, these are two players that no one wants to see in their section of the draw.
If you won’t be in Pittsburgh to watch the tournament in person, you can watch four days of Live Streaming coverage on YouTube, Facebook, and the APTA Network. Here is the schedule so you can plan your viewing:
Thursday approximately 4PM: Selected match from the Viking Men’s President’s Cup final.
Friday 9:30AM: Two courts of Men’s and Women’s early round matches will be streamed all day.
Saturday 8:30AM: 2 courts will be streamed all day, including Men’s and Women’s Quarters and Women’s Semis
Sunday 9:30AM: both Men’s Semis, followed by the Women’s Final and the Men’s Final