Chicago Charities NRT/Viking PCQ Women’s Preview

Novermber 5, 2019
Grand Prix 
Chicago Charities NRT/Viking PCQ Women’s Preview


Many top women’s players are competing at the 2019 Chicago Charities Grand Prix event, but Roxy Enica and Laura Berendt and Cynthia Dardis and Amy Shay stand out as the two clear favorites to win the title. There are other strong teams in contention, though, and it will be interesting to see any of them can step up and challenge the favorites for the winners’ trophy.

Berendt/Enica made quite a splash in 2018-2019, their first season as partners. Currently ranked second in the country, Berendt/Enica won Charities last year, beating Dardis/Shay in a tough final, and were the runners-up at Nationals, falling in an extremely tight match to Liz Cruz and Gabriela Niculescu. Enica already has a Grand Prix title this season, winning the Lake Invitational (with Ana Brzova).

Dardis/Shay are the fifth-ranked team in the country but missed the latter part of last season when Dardis was injured and had surgery. They showed that they are right back in the thick of it at the top of the game, however, when they reached the semis of the Lake Invitational and lost a very close two-setter to champions Brzova/Enica.

Accustomed to playing with other partners, Jessica Guyaux and Florentina Hanisch will be a team to watch in Chicago. Hanisch and Annica Cooper, out with an injury, are the top ranked team in the country. Guyaux is ranked eighth with Myrthe Molenveld.

The always dangerous team of Martina Ondrejkova and Ana Zubori , ranked sixth, are making their first appearance together this season. Ondrejkova/Zubori are hoping to build on the good results they had together last season, which included reaching the semis at the Boston Open and a fifth-place finish at Nationals.

A quartet of accomplished teams from the Midwest (all Chicago residents except for one player) are poised to make a run in the Chicago draw. Wendy Shpiz and Heather Prop (from Ohio) are smart, veteran players who have ample wins and experience to draw on. Last season, Prop/Shpiz were semifinalists at Short Hills and quarterfinalists at Nationals. Sandy Cvetkovic and Marina Ohlmuller won the recent Lake Forest Open, beating Chelsea Nusslock and Alexis Prousis in the semis and Hallie Bodman and Liz Hayward in the finals. Any one of these teams could reward the hometown fans with a deep run in the Charities draw.

Whoever gets through to the finals will have to play high-quality paddle to get there, and you can watch all the action on Friday and Saturday on YouTube, Facebook Live, and the APTA Network.

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