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Broderick-DeRose and Dardis-Shay are Men's and Women's Champs at Midwesterns
January 11, 2016
Dardis and Shay Remain atop Childress Cup Standings
The 2016 Midwesterns was the penultimate leg of the APTA Grand Prix series. Always a strong event on the men’s side, this year saw the best women’s draw in recent memory. A top player was back in action on both draws, but would it be a triumphant return for either one?
The women’s draw was absolutely loaded. Three-time defending national champion Ana Brzova made it a mission to not only play but to recruit some of the top teams to visit the Queen City. Paired with Roxy Enica, returning after her pregnancy, they made for a formidable third seed.
In the quarterfinals, they faced the veteran duo of Liz Jaffe and Sue Tarzain, both national finalists themselves. Jaffe/Tarzian played a solid match, taking advantage of some rustiness from Enica. After a tight two-set win, Jaffe commented, “It was good playing her before she gets her game in order.”
Also reaching the semifinals were this year’s hot new duo, Ania Kazakevich and Heather Prop; Chicago’s Hallie Bodman and Liz Hayward, who have entered the top five this year; and, of course, top seeds Cynthia Dardis and Amy Shay.
In the first semi-final, Jaffe/Tarzian jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead on Dardis/Shay. Jaffe served for the first set at 5-4, but the top seeds were too much for them, winning 7-5, 6-3. On the other semi court, it looked pretty routine for Kazakevich/Prop, but after getting up a set, they lost control of the match to the big-hitting team of Bodman/Hayward.
In the finals, Dardis/Shay continued their stellar play with a straight-set win. The victory, their first in Cincinnati, keeps them atop the standings for the Childress Cup, with the last Grand Prix event to be played in Philadelphia next month.
Men’s Champs Pull Off a Successful Reunion
On the men’s side, the clear tournament favorites were defending national champion Drew Broderick and yoga-fit Steve DeRose. Playing their first tournament together in a few years, Broderick/DeRose were looking to win their fourth consecutive event.
In the quarterfinals, they faced a tough challenge from Nathan LeFevre and Scott Estes, Jr., but Broderick/DeRose were simply too tough. Martin Bostrom and Sebastian Bredberg had a long day on Saturday, but managed to win three-set battles in both the second and third rounds. In the quarters, they beat the strong Indianapolis team of Ryan Baxter and Ricky Heath in two tough sets.
The top half of the draw featured the return of Juan Arraya, who had been out of action for a couple of months. Paired with his normal partner, Max Le Pivert, the two faced the strong Chicago team of Dane Schmidgall and Adam Morgan. In one of the most exciting matches of the weekend, Arraya/Le Pivert took an important step toward defending their title with a three-set win.
In the semi-finals, they would face the Pittsburgh duo of Scott Kahler and Casey Watt, who defeated the third seeds and hometown favorites of Rob Bakker and Flip Goodspeed. Despite playing well, Kahler/Watt went down in straight sets. Arraya/Le Pivert simply had too many weapons.
In the other semi-final, Broderick/DeRose played a typical slow-paced style against Bostrom/Bredberg. The Swedes had numerous opportunities but failed to convert many game points and fell 6-3, 6-4.
The finals featured the top two seeds, but in the end Broderick/DeRose were simply too steady. Arraya/LePivert played some great points, but it was not enough. Lacking the willingness to grind, the No. 1 seeds went down 6-3, 6-3.
At this juncture, Arraya/LePivert and Bostrom/Bredberg are duking it out with Marco Grangeiro and George Wilkinson, who were not in Cincinnati, for the most Blanchard Cup points. With the Grand Prix Midwesterns win, Broderick extended his unbeaten streak and continued to cement his role as the game’s top player.
Special thanks to Heather Prop, Mark Kebe, and Rob Bakker for running another terrific tournament and to all the volunteers who made it happen. Also, a great big thank you to Michelob Ultra and RotoRooter for their sponsorship.
Finally, thanks to all the players and fans who came and supported the Chemo-Unity cause. The APTA Grand Prix series finishes up in Philadelphia next month.