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Roxy Enica and Liz Cruz Win 2017 Midwestern Women's
January 14, 2017
After winning the first two Grand Prix tournaments of the season, Gabriela Niculescu and Martina Ondrejkova elected to skip The Midwesterns, ensuring a different winner for the third Grand Prix event of 2016-2017. The new winner turned out to be Liz Cruz and Roxy Enica, who overcame travel snafus, bad weather, and stiff competition to take the title.
As the tournament began, two prospective round of 16 matchups looked tricky for the seeded teams. The fourth seeds Liz Jaffe and Sue Tarzian survived their long three set struggle against Nancy Budde and Sally Jones, but the sixth seeded team of Denise Murphy and hometown favorite Lynne Schneebeck did not fare as well, losing to the talented pair from Atlanta, Agata Ciroch and Lisa Teer.
In the quarterfinals, top seeded Cynthia Dardis and Amy Shay lost the first set before adjusting to the unpredictable power play of eighth seeded Laura Berendt and Alison Morgan. The second seeds, Ania Kazakevich and tournament director Heather Prop, advanced in straight sets over Ciroch/Teer. The third seeds, Cruz and Enica, were untroubled by their long day, having flown into Cincinnati at the crack of dawn after a cancelled flight the previous night, putting away Hall-of-Famer Mary Doten and Chelsea Nusslock in straight sets. Jaffe/Tarzian faced the toughest test of the top four seeds in the quarters, and looked like they would be out of the main draw after losing the first set 6-0 to the seventh seeds, Sandy Cvetkovic and Marina Ohlmuller. Jaffe and Tarzian refused to go down, however, and squeaked through with an 0-6, 7-6, 7-5 victory.
The weather looked ominous as semifinal play began on Saturday morning, but the rain held out for the most part as Dardis/Shay defeated Jaffe/Tarzian in straight sets and Cruz/Enica took a tight two-setter from Kazakevich/Prop. The rain didn’t stay away entirely, though, and it appeared as though it would be a major factor in the finals. The rain seemed to be favoring Dardis and Shay, who played within themselves and executed all their shots in the first set. Cruz and Enica were more troubled by the wet court, making errors as they took big cuts at the heavy, wet ball. The match turned as Cruz/Enica were able to steady themselves, hitting some big shots while quieting the errors to win a three-set match played at a very high level.
With their win in Cincinnati, Cruz/Enica moved ahead of Niculescu/Ondrejkova in the Childress Cup standings, as did finalists Dardis/Shay. With Niculescu/Ondrejkova and several other highly ranked teams who didn’t compete in Cincinnati signed up to play in the season’s final two Grand Prix tournaments in Boston and Short Hills, it’s a good bet that there will be plenty of movement in the Grand Prix standings as the APTA season heads towards The Nationals.
Thank you to tournament director Heather Prop, Camargo Club General Manager Mike Haehnle, and the entire tournament committee for all the hard work they put into this wonderful event.
Main Draw: Liz Cruz/Roxy Enica def. Cynthia Dardis/Amy Shay 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Laura Berendt/Alison Morgan def. Agata Ciroch/Lisa Teer 6-4, 6-2
Reprieve: Denise Murphy/Lynn Schneebeck def. Nancy Budde/Sally Jones 6-1, 7-5
Consolation: Tracy Glassmeyer/Mary Zimmerman def. Shaheen Bhanji/Lea Morris 6-1, 6-3
Consolation Reprieve: Lucy Taft/Meghan Trombold def. Tricia Barlow/Sue Pogue 6-2, 6-2