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Rob Bakker / Tyler Fraser Battle to the Top of the 2018 Men's Midwesterns
January 12-14, 2018
By Mark Kebe
The 2018 edition of The Midwesterns took place this weekend in Cincinnati under a variety of weather conditions. Play on Friday for the Women’s Open and Men’s 90+ tournaments began in a steady rain, which continued nonstop the entire day until 3:30pm when it turned into a driving snowstorm.
In the Men’s 90+ draw, the players slugged their way through the rain through to the semifinals. A local team and the third seeds, Ryan Floth and Rusty Schubert, took out the top seeds and fellow Cincinnatians Dan Mott and Thaddeus Reed in a tightly contested match. In the second semi, Michigan natives Randy Ford and Matt Pursley defeated David Pierce and his evil twin Brad in a thrilling three-setter. The weather then took a turn for the worse as Floth and Schubert survived the driving snowstorm to defeat Ford and Pursley for the title.
The conditions were significantly better for the Men’s Open on Saturday. Clear skies and temperatures in the low 20s allowed for some spectacular play. The top seeds, Marco Grangeiro and Scott Kahler, and the third seeds, Peter Berka and Graham McNerney, advanced to the semis with straight set victories over Adam Morgan and Wil Colmar and Zach Held and Casey Watt, respectively. The other two quarterfinal matches went the distance, with the seventh seeds Alex Bancila and Sven Burus surviving a second set comeback to defeat the fourth seeded team of Mark Barry and Brian Heil, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. In the match of the day, the fourth quarterfinal saw the local team and sixth seeds, Rob Bakker and Tyler Fraser, rally from one set down to defeat the seconds seeds, Ryan Baxter and Ricky Heath, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. The semifinals produced two very different matches. Bancila/Burus quickly dispatched Grangeiro/Kahler, while Bakker/Fraser needed almost two hours to defeat Berka/McNerney.
The men’s final was one of the best in the tournament’s history, as Bakker/Fraser again rallied from a set down to defeat Bancila/Burus in a thrilling two and a half hour, three-set match, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The win by locals Bakker and Fraser allowed them to join the women’s winners Heather Prop and Mary Zimmerman in completing a “Cincy Sweep” of The Midwesterns for the first time in over 30 years!
Men’s Open Results:
Main Draw: Rob Bakker/Tyler Fraser def. Sven Alex Bancila/Sven Burus, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
Quarterfinal Reprive: Ryan Baxter/Ricky Heath def. William Colmar/Adam Morgan, 6-4, 6-1
Round of 16 Reprieve: Tommy Croker/Trevor Spracklin def. John Noble/Brad Smith
Reprieve: Alex Lambropoulis/Ryan Mullaney III def. Nitin Gera/Vinny Gossain, 6-2, 6-2
Consolation: Panek/Wotring def. Charlie Pfister/Mackey Pierce
Consolation Reprieve: Lee Lonergan/Pete Robinson def.Gavin Ford/Tom Mercer, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
Men’s 90+ Results:
Main Draw: Ryan Sloth/Rusty Schubert def. Dan Mott/Thaddeus Reed
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Seth Dimling/Brian Mitchell def. Nitin Gera/Paul Ghidotti, 6-4, 6-4
Consolation: Jim Heldman/Tony Teufel def. Bill Boughton/Fabian Schmahl, 6-4, 6-4
Consolation Reprieve: Rich Carron/Richard Moellering def. Snyder/Vass, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3