2021 APTA National Men’s Championships Preview

April 7, 2021
Summit, NJ

A month past its usual March date due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 APTA Men’s Nationals this weekend is condensed into a 32-team blockbuster field, featuring the top eight and 16 of the top 20 ranked players in the country. The four seeded teams, Johan du Randt/Stephen Mitchell, John Hughes/Marc Powers, Juan Arraya/Mark Parsons, and Sven Burus/Mikk Irdoja, have all looked like favorites to win a National Championship at different times this season. Although unseeded, no conversation about potential National winners can omit three-time National Champions Drew Broderick and Jared Palmer (Broderick also won one with Chris Gambino) who are among the other unseeded contenders in the draw.

Du Randt/Mitchell started the season strong by winning the Darien Grand Prix, and although they made it to three other NRT finals, they came up short in all of them. Each of their losses came from one of the other favorites to win Nationals (Hughes/Powers in the March to Nationals final, Arraya/Parsons in the Philadelphia Open final, Burus/Irdoja in the Western New England final, plus a loss to Martin Bostrom/Broderick in the semis of the Duane Hayden Long Island Invitational). There is very little separating these top teams, and whoever plays their best paddle this weekend will earn the 2020-2021 National title.

The 2018 National Champions, John Hughes and Marc Powers, are looking strong coming into Nationals. Last month, they won their second title of the season, the March to Nationals NRT. Their first came in December at the Duane Hayden Long Island Invitational, which they won in dominant fashion racking up all straight set wins over quality teams including Chris Humphreys/Nathan LeFevre, Burus/Irdoja, and Bostrom/Broderick.

Arraya/Parsons, the 2019 National Champions (Parsons also owns three other National titles), played well the second half of the season. After losing a nail biter to du Randt/Mitchell in the semis of Western New Englands, they played a nearly flawless match to turn the tables and beat du Randt/Mitchell in the Philadelphia Open final.

After hovering near the top of the game for the past two seasons, Burus/Irdoja announced their arrival as one of the game’s premier teams by winning their first Grand Prix title at Western New Englands. To win the title they had to unseat the defending champions and top team in the country, du Randt/Mitchell, which they did in a very tight three-set match.

Although the sole tournament Palmer entered this season resulted in an opening round loss for him and partner Broderick at the hands of Tyler Fraser and Adam Morgan at the Philadelphia Open, Nationals is where this team shines. National Champions together from 2015-2017, Broderick/Palmer have the ability to overcome their lack of match play and win yet again.

Tyler Fraser and Adam Morgan have had a breakout season, with loads of impressive results. Winners at the Detroit Invitational and finalists at The Midwesterns and the Indianapolis Open, Fraser/Morgan proved they can beat the teams at the very top in Philadelphia, where they knocked out Broderick/Palmer and Burus/Irdoja before falling in the semis to du Randt/Mitchell. They followed that up with a win at the Winter Warrior Men’s Classic, where they beat the top seeds, Marek Czerwinski and Graham McNerney.

Scott Kahler and Filip Rams’ first season as partners was a success. They scored titles at the West Penn Open and The Midwesterns, where they beat Fraser/Morgan in a three-set final.

Max LePivert and Anton Protsenko are a solid team who played a lot of tournaments and consistently reached the quarterfinals or better and got an NRT title at the Atlantic Classic.

Blake Anderson and Bostrom haven’t played much together this season, but they had a good result at March to Nationals, reaching the semis before falling to Hughes/Powers.

Humphreys/LeFevre played well all season, highlighted by their win at the 505 Open and their final round finish at the Atlantic Classic.

With so many great players in the draw, the 32-team field will be competitive from the start. The Live Streaming crew is streaming multiple matches at once, starting at 9:30 AM on Saturday and 11:30 AM on Sunday. Tune in to the APTA YouTube Channel and see the top players battle it out for the 2021 National Championship.

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L to R: Mitchell and DuRandt

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