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Unseeded Curtis/Stoklasova Battle to the Top At Boston
January 26-27, 2018
The stars of the women’s game came out in full force at The Boston Open, the first Grand Prix of 2018, resulting in terrific matches from the earliest stages of the tournament. The top four seeds all looked to be in good form through the quarterfinals, but the unseeded team of Jade Curtis and Viktoria Stoklasova surpassed them all to win the title.
Although unseeded, Curtis/Stoklasova were hardly unknown. Stoklasova, a two-time APTA National Champion, has been playing with and mentoring the relative newcomer Curtis for several years. The results are starting to come; at the Long Island Invitational, Curtis/Stoklasova knocked off Cynthia Dardis/Amy Shay in the quarterfinals before succumbing in the next round. In Boston, they went all the way, knocking out the top seeds, Florentina Hanisch and Annica van Starrenburg in the quarters, Roxy Enica and Jessica Guyaux (4) in the semis, and Dardis/Shay (2) in the finals.
Enica, who gave birth to her second son only six weeks ago, came back in great form with first-time partner Jessica Guyaux. The Round of 16 match everyone wanted to see featured Enica/Guyaux against another player making a comeback, three-time APTA National Champion Ana Brzova, who partnered with Kerri Delmonico. Enica/Guyaux came through that one in three tough sets and then went on to beat Liz Jaffe and Myrthe Molenveld in the quarters, but could not stop Curtis/Stoklasova in the semis.
On the bottom half of the draw, Liz Cruz and Gabriela Niculescu (3), who lost only one match in the first half of the season, looked like the favorites to get through to the finals. After coming out with a straight set win over Martina Ondrejkova and Ana Zubori in the quarters, they awaited another encounter with the team who handed them their only loss so far this season, Dardis/Shay. Dardis/Shay, who gained their semifinal berth by taking out the always tough Chicago team of Suzanne Lemery and Kelly Rohrbach, 6-2, 6-2, reversed several consecutive losses to Cruz/Niculescu in the finals of Chicago Charities. They were able to repeat that result here, losing the first set but coming back to take the next two in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory.
The final showcased women’s paddle at its finest. The speed and shot making of Curtis/Stoklasova were matched by the excellent volleying and consistency of Dardis/Shay. After quickly getting down 5-0 in the first set, Dardis/Shay regrouped and evened the set at 5-5. “We were playing not to lose in the first set and were too passive,” said Dardis. “As soon as we got more aggressive, it made a big difference.” Curtis/Stoklasova were able to eke out the first set, 7-5, and held on for a 6-3 second set win.
Asked about almost losing the first set after leading by such a wide margin, Stoklasova gave all credit to Dardis/Shay, saying, “We started off well, but they are masters at changing tactics. Then we had to slow down a bit, pick our targets, and be more aggressive from the back.” Curtis, who had never won an NRT before, added, “I feel a big sense of relief, and I’m excited to win my first title.”
All of the matches from the weekend are available for viewing at http://dev.enetlive.tv/category/apta/2017-2018-season/boston-open/.
Thank you to Tournament Directors Drew Sawyer and Genius Chidzikwe, and host club, Weston Golf Club.
Main Draw: Jade Curtis/Viktoria Stoklasova def. Cynthia Dardis/Amy Shay, 7-5, 6-3
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Liz Jaffe/Myrthe Molenveld def. Suzanne Lemery/Kelly Rohrbach, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
Reprieve: Ana Brzova/Kerri Delmonico def. Jane McNitt/Chelsea Nusslock, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Consolation: Denise Murphy/Lynne Schnebeck def. Agata Cioroch/Lisa Teer, 6-2, 7-6
Consolation Reprieve: Jennifer Demsey/Roopali Hall def. Amy Hutter/Shelley Morse, 6-2, 6-4