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Dardis/Shay Win Philly Open Women's and the Grand Prix Childress Cup
February 16-17, 2018
With the number one ranking and the Childress Cup up for grabs, the stakes were high for the top women’s teams heading into the final Grand Prix of the 2017-2018 season, the Philly Open. By beating Liz Cruz and Gabriela Niculescu, who now have three losses this season, all to Dardis/Shay, in the finals, Dardis/Shay proved that they are deserving of the top seed and the designation as favorites to win the APTA National Championships in March.
The weather was a big part of the story in the women’s draw. The quarterfinal matches featured a glut of tiebreakers, because the serve was a huge advantage in the pelting rain. Fourth-seeded Martina Ondrejkova and Ana Zubori’s 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 win over Roxy Enica and Myrthe Molenveld was a perfect example; a few points lost on serve in the final tiebreaker decided the match. Dardis/Shay needed a third set tiebreaker to escape an upset at the hands of Jane McNitt and Chelsea Nusslock, Cruz/Niculescu needed two tiebreakers to defeat Kerri Delmonico and Mariya Slupska, and top seeded Florentina Hanisch and Annica van Starrenburg knocked out Maria Manley and Pam Ruoff, 6-4, 7-6.
The semifinal matches, played under better conditions, showcased the two best teams this season giving dominant performances. Dardis/Shay eliminated last week’s Short Hills Invitational winners, Ondrejkova/Zubori, in straight sets, and Cruz/Niculescu also needed only two sets to knock out Hanisch/van Starrenburg.
From the first point of the finals, Dardis/Shay looked confident and comfortable in executing the game plan they devised after losing several consecutive matches to Cruz/Niculescu dating back to last season. Although it looked like Cruz/Niculescu might push the match to a third set, Dardis/Shay held on to win the match 6-3, 7-5, beating Cruz/Niculescu for the third time in Grand Prix tournaments this season and turning their rivalry around completely. When asked what drives them to keep improving and competing after playing for so many years together, Shay replied, “As long as we are still playing well and having fun together, we will keep going.” Playing well they most certainly are, making them the solid favorites to win the only title that has eluded them, the upcoming APTA National Championships.
Thank you to Tournament Director Scott Falatek and the staff and volunteers at the Philadelphia Cricket Club for hosting a great weekend.
Main Draw: Cynthia Dardis/Amy Shay def. Liz Cruz/Gabriela Niculescu, 6-3, 7-5
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Roxy Enica/Myrthe Molenveld def. Maria Manley/Pam Ruoff, 6-0, 6-2
Reprieve: Mirian Cruz/Marcella Rodezno def. Cooey Lyon/Charlotte Sikora, 6-0, 6-7, 7-6
Consolation: Bobo Delaney/Andrea Noyes def. Jennifer Demsey/Roopali Hall, 6-4, 6-2
Consolation Reprieve: Cathy MacKinnon/Chris Maglocci def. Darlene McGlone/Tina Wein, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2