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DeRose - Parsons Win 2017 Midwestern Men's over finalists Arraya - Morneau
January 15, 2017
The Midwesterns’ draw elicited many questions. How would Mark Parsons and Drew Broderick manage without their regular partners? With so few ranking points between the teams ranked third through tenth, who would separate themselves from the pack? Could Chris Gambino compete effectively after his recent rotator cuff surgery? By the time the tournament’s last ball was struck, these questions were answered and some incredible paddle matches were played in the process.
The first surprises came in the round of 32 when four seeded teams were eliminated. The 14th seeds Ben McKnight and Pete Rose fell to Graham McNerney and Brad Smith, the 15th seeds Tommy Croker and Trevor Spracklin fell to Mark Barry and Brian Heil, Jeronie Barnes and Peter Berka took out the 16th seeded Ajay Khurana and Mike Wagner, and Wil and Randy Lofgren ousted the 11th seeds, Adam Morgan and Dane Schmidgall.
There were no surprises in the round of 16 as each of the top eight seeded teams booked a place in the quarterfinals. The quarters featured the hotly anticipated matchup between two of the top four players in the country, Mark Parsons and Drew Broderick, both playing with partners they picked up for this tournament when Johan du Randt and Jared Palmer were unavailable to play. Parsons and Steve DeRose had never played together prior to this weekend, but that posed no obstacle to them, with Parsons’ speed and solid play allowing DeRose to exhibit his amazing shotmaking ability. When Parsons and DeRose dispatched Broderick and Anton Mavrin 6-2, 6-1, it was clear that a team would have to come up with some really special play to prevent them from winning the title.
Hall of Famer Chris Gambino proved that he can still play great paddle. He and Marek Czerwinski, seeded seventh, outlasted the third seeds, Martin Bostrom and Sebastian Bredberg, in a long three set quarterfinal battle. The second seeds, Max LePivert and George Wilkinson, also stumbled in the quarterfinal round, losing to the fifth seeds, Scott Kahler and Casey Watt, who looked like they have added more offense to their game.
The last quarterfinal, featuring the fourth seeds Juan Arraya and Jeff Morneau against the sixth seeds Mikk Irdoja and Dan Regan, was the match of the tournament. When Irdoja and Regan had match point in the second set, it looked like their athleticism and power would be enough to subdue the incredible shotmaking of Arraya and the precision play of Morneau, but Arraya/Morneau saved the match point and came through a grueling three set battle to gain a berth in the semifinals. Irdoja did have the shot of the tournament, when on set point in the first set he raced from the baseline to return an Arraya backhand slash dropshot around the net post for a winner.
Neither of the semifinals lived up to the drama of the quarters, with DeRose/Parsons beating Czerwinski/Gambino in straight sets, and Arraya/Morneau also winning in two sets over Kahler/Watt. In the finals, DeRose and Parsons put on an exhibition of their skills. Between DeRose’s ability to dink and half volley lobs and Parsons’ ability to hit the nick seemingly at will, Arraya and Morneau never got a rhythm and the match went comfortably to DeRose/Parsons 6-1, 6-2.
The implications of The Midwesterns results are clear; with so few ranking points separating the teams 4-11 in the rankings (Arraya and Max LePivert are currently in third based on last year’s results), the two remaining Grand Prix tournaments, the Boston Open and Short Hills, will be take on added significance. These seven teams are all trying to boost their rankings and avoid an early meeting with Broderick/Palmer or du Randt/Parsons at The Nationals.
Thank you to tournament director Mark Kebe , Camargo Club General Manager Mike Haehnle and all of The Midwesterns volunteers for all their hard work that went into this terrific event.
Main Draw: Steve DeRose/Mark Parsons def. Juan Arraya/Jeff Morneau 6-1, 6-2
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Martin Bostrom/Sebastian Bredberg def. Max Le Pivert/George Wilkinson
Round of 16 Reprieve: Scott Estes/Nathan LeFevre def Jeronie Barnes/Peter Berka 1-6, 7-6, 7-5
Round of 32 Consolation: Todd Hiscox/Patricio Misitrano def. John Noble/Mike Rahaley 6-1, 6-2
Consolation: Matthew Allare/Brian Compton def. John Mah/Filip Rams 6-4, 6-0
Last Chance: Kyle Bates/Scott Triplett def. Craig Bennington/Matt Wooster 6-0, 6-1