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Boston Open Women’s Preview
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January 25, 2018
After the long holiday hiatus, many of the top women’s players are eager to return to competition, making this weekend’s Boston Open draw the deepest Grand Prix tournament this season. The sheer number of highly-ranked players in the draw is sure to lead to some very exciting matches.
The top two seeded teams, Florentina Hanisch and Annica van Starrenburg and Cynthia Dardis and Amy Shay, are currently tied at the top of the APTA rankings. At the Long Island Invitational, the last tournament of 2017, Hanisch/van Starrenburg reclaimed the form that earned them last season’s National Championship, posting a tough win against Martina Ondrejkova and Ana Zubori in the semis before losing in the finals to Liz Cruz and Gabriela Niculescu. Dardis/Shay lost early in Long Island, but have been rock solid the rest of the season. They handed Cruz/Niculescu their only loss of the season in the finals of Chicago Charities, and reached the finals of the PNC Steel City Open and the Patterson Club Open.
Cruz/Niculescu are third in the rankings, trailing the top two by less than a single percentage point. Only seeded third, they are still the favorites to take the Boston trophy, having only lost the finals in Chicago this season while claiming titles in Long Island, Pittsburgh, and Patterson.
Former APTA National Champions Ana Brzova, Viktoria Stoklosova, and Kerri Delmonico could cause trouble for the seeded teams in Boston. Stoklosova and partner Jade Curtis broke through in Long Island, beating Dardis/Shay in the quarterfinals before falling to Cruz/Niculescu in the semis. Brzova, back after a long layoff, is teaming with Kerri Delmonico, who has had success with a variety of partners.
A big wildcard in the draw is the fourth-seeded team of Roxy Enica and Jessica Guyaux. Enica is playing her first tournament of the season after recently giving birth to her second son. Enica and her partner, Jessica Guyaux, are both huge hitters who will instill fear in whoever they face.
A contingent of accomplished Chicago players (and one from Ohio) greatly strengthen the Boston lineup. Hallie Bodman and Liz Hayward, Suzanne Lemery and Kelly Rohrbach, and Jane McNitt and Chelsea Nusslock are all dangerous teams with proven results. Heather Prop and Alison Morgan were just beginning their season at the PNC Steel City Open when Prop went down with a knee injury requiring two surgeries, but she returned a few weeks ago to win The Midwesterns and is teaming up again with Morgan to try and make a run in Boston.
Finally, there are two other teams in the draw who have reached Grand Prix semifinals this season. Martina Ondrejkova and Ana Zubori, the highest ranked team not to be seeded, have improved rapidly this year and came close to beating Hanisch/van Starrenburg in the Long Island semifinals. Liz Jaffe and Myrthe Molenveld came in fifth in Pittsburgh and gained a semifinal berth in Chicago, proving they are another tough team to beat.
With so many great teams, the matches in Boston are going to be competitive from the early rounds. Start tuning in to the APTA Network or Facebook Live on Friday morning at 10:30 and see every minute of the action!