2020 APTA Men's National Recap

March 10, 2020
Darien, CT

2020 Men's National Championship Final Results (pdf)

2020 Men's PTI National Championship Final Results (pdf)

The Nationals Committee gifted the paddle world one of the best and brightest Nationals weekends in the history of the tournament. With 64 teams in the main draw and 64 in the PTI draw, the men had to battle the harshest elements late afternoon on Friday, with rain coming down hard for a short duration. Saturday was gusty but warmish, with sun and clouds, and Sunday dawned with a lost hour of sleep but plenty of UV rays. The sun was the third player on the court in the later matches of the day.

ROUND OF 16/QUARTERFINALS

In the round of 16, the big upset was Blake Anderson and Martin Bostrom removing the fourth seeds, Marek Czerwinski and Graham McNerney, from the main draw in a three-setter, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3. Otherwise, the top eight seeds made it to the quarterfinals, with only Drew Broderick and Jared Palmer (7) and Brian Compton and Scott Kahler (5) needing three sets to do so. Anderson/Bostrom once again took their opponents, Sven Burus and Mikk Irdoja (6), to three-sets in an intense, adrenaline junkie’s dream of a match. Anderson’s ankle injury in the second set may have been why he and Bostrom couldn’t pull out a victory even with two match points, at 3-6, 7-5, 7-5. The rest of the semifinals were quieter athletic fare—Broderick/Palmer took down Juan Arraya/Mark Parsons (2), 6-2, 6-0; Johan du Randt and Stephen Mitchell (3) fended off Paul Rose and Pete Rose (8), 6-3, 6-3; and John Hughes and Marc Powers (1) just needed a push in the second set to get past Compton/Kahler, 6-0, 7-6.

SUNDAY SEMIFINALS AND FINALS

The grounds of the Country Club of Darien were electrified on Sunday, with the top-level players hoping that, to quote the immortal Herb Brooks, “this is our time.” If you were smart enough to walk up to the top six courts, the back draw action featured some of the top 8 seeds in a more casual arena, still shot-making but what you imagined they looked like in a men’s league match. On the main courts, the men’s semifinals were the first matches of the day. The stands filled with diehard fans, morning cocktails at the ready, knowing they were going to see the best.

It definitely was Johan du Randt and Stephen Mitchell’s time during the semifinal against John Hughes and Marc Powers. These teams have battled a few times this season, splitting results at the Boston Open and Short Hills Invitational. Du Randt and Mitchell had a game plan in place, in particular slowing down the points, even though they are known for their love of fast-pace play, as are Hughes/Powers. It worked, and du Randt/Mitchell won at 6-3, 6-4. The other semifinal was one for the ages. Burus/Irdoja versus Broderick/Palmer went almost three hours, with both teams getting up on the score 4-1 and losing the set at 7-5. Irdoja started playing more balls, using forward motion to power through some frustration, but Broderick/Palmer took fewer risks and won the third at 6-3.

It certainly was du Randt’s and Mitchell’s time when they held strong against three-time National Champions Broderick/Palmer in the final. The crowd seemed to be divided, but everyone was routing for any guy chasing down the spins and digging balls out of the corner. Broderick was superb in the long points and Palmer couldn’t have better hands at the net. Du Randt has always been known for his razzle dazzle but he has added patience to his repertoire and that and the steady play and flashy forehand of Mitchell brought the APTA Men’s National crown back to Boston. Du Randt/Mitchell were able to hold the breaks, winning 6-4, 6-4. Du Randt has now won four National titles with three different partners, Jerry Albrikes (2010), Mark Parsons (2013, 2014), and Mitchell.

MEN’S PTI NATIONALS

With a full 64-team draw and parity around the country, the Men’s PTI Nationals were anyone’s to win. By the quarterfinals, the first, second, fifth and sixth seeds were still alive, but only Miguel Cobbs and David Goldberg (6) made it to the finals. Unseeded and locals Andre Ivarsson and Ricky Sanford didn’t drop a set the entire tournament. The final match was Live Streamed and kept the crowd entertained, showing the paddle world how deep the men’s game truly is. Ivarsson/Sanford were victorious at 7-5, 6-2.

The APTA would like to thank the 2020 Nationals Tournament Committee, the sponsors, all 200+ volunteers, the players, the fans, the staff at CCD, and the host clubs around the area for creating a special atmosphere for our special sport.

2020-Nationals-Men-Champions-600

Men's Champions, Johan du Randt and Stephen Mitchell

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