First Grand Prix of the Season Crowns Old and New Pairings

October 12-14
Philadelphia, PA

Featuring a mix of new teams and established pairings, neither the men’s nor women’s draws seemed likely to go exactly according to seeding at the Philly Open, the first Grand Prix tournament of the 2018-2019 season. At the end of the weekend, a very familiar team, the 2016 APTA National Champions and #2 seeds, Florentina Hanisch and Annica van Starrrenburg came through the women’s draw, but a new duo, Marek Czerwinski and Graham McNerney, outplayed the field in the men’s tournament.

2018Fall Philly WomenWomen
Coming off their win in Patterson last weekend, the fourth-seeded team, Jessica Guyaux and Myrthe Molenveld, seemed poised to ride their momentum through the Philly draw. They survived a very tough battle against local favorite Karin Kochis and Erin Ortiz in the round of 16 and dispatched Debora Castany and Alison Morgan in straight sets in the quarters, but their winning streak was destined to end there. Hanisch/van Starrenburg, who beat local favorites Cooey Lyon and Charlotte Sikora in the round of 16, came back from their Patterson Club Open loss to Guyaux/Molenveld with a vengeance, taking their rematch with a decisive 6-0, 6-3 win.

On the bottom half of the draw, twin sisters Liz Cruz and Mirian Warner, teaming up for the first time in an NRT, played smart, solid paddle. The third seeds faced a very tough quarterfinal challenge against the Patterson Club Open finalists, Kerri Delmonico and Lauren Gebbia, but came through, 7-6, 6-0. The biggest upset of the tournament came at the hands of yet another new team, Laura Berendt and Roxy Enica. Berendt and Enica harnessed their hard-hitting styles to beat the top seeds and last season’s Philly Open winners, Cynthia Dardis and Amy Shay. Cruz/Warner were able to diffuse the power game of Berendt/Enica, though, and used their precise drives, lobs, and volleys to reach the finals with a straight set win.

Driving rain pummeled the courts Saturday morning, and all four women’s finalists agreed to delay the match an hour and a half. By 10:30 am, the courts were dry and the sky was clear, giving the players perfect conditions for a competitive final. Hanisch/van Starrenburg were not interested in a competitive match, however, and used a new strategy to win a very one-sided final. Realizing the day before that they could combat the sun by playing one up, one back, Hanisch/van Starrenburg liked the formation so much that they decided to use it even without the difficult conditions. With Hanisch at the net picking off volleys and overheads, and van Starrenburg driving from the back, Cruz/Warner couldn’t find a way to get into the match. Given the dazzling display of shots and almost nonexistent errors that came off of Hanisch/van Starrenburg’s paddles, it was hard to imagine anyone being able to beat them on that day.
Thank you to tournament director Scott Falatek, the tournament volunteers, and the staff at the Philadelphia Cricket Club for running a fantastic tournament, which including a great Friday night players’ party in addition to the Saturday night festivities.

Women’s Results:
Main Draw: Florentina Hanisch/Annica van Starrenburg def. Liz Cruz/Mirian Warner, 6-1, 6-0
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Cynthia Dardis/Amy Shay def. Cooey Lyon/Charlotte Sikora, 4-6, 7-5, 6-0
Consolation: Lucy Nutting/Jaclyn Williamson def. Delphine Owen/Catherine White, 6-3, 6-3
Consolation Reprieve: Spencer Caravaggio/Mary Wilson def. Chris Maglocci/Lynne Schneebeck, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

 

2018Fall Philly MenMen
Filled with top players yet unproven teams, the men’s draw looked like it was anybody’s to win. In the top quarter of the draw, second-seeded Martin Bostrom and Jon Lubow exited early, losing to Pete and Paul Rose in straight sets in the round of 16. Everyone was curious to see how the former highly-ranked team, Marco Grangeiro and George Wilkinson, would play after a long layoff from playing together. Wilkinson, out almost all of last year with an injury, and Grangeiro proved that they still have what it takes to be a top team, as the eighth seeds cruised to the semifinals with straight set wins, including a 6-4, 6-1 win over the Rose brothers in the quarters.

After winning the Patterson Open with Scott Kahler last weekend, Graham McNerney teamed up with Marek Czerwinski in Philly. The fourth seeds got by the always tough Scott Estes and Mike Stulac in the round of 16 and the very dangerous team of Blake Anderson and Mikk Irdoja to set up a semifinal showdown with Grangeiro/Wilkinson.

The bottom half of the draw held true to form, with the first and third seeds reaching the semifinals. Sven Burus and Roman Stoisavljevic, the third seeds, survived a three-setter against Tyler Fraser and Wil Lofgren in the round of 16 and got past fifth seeded Sebastian Bredberg and Nathan LeFevre in two close sets in the quarters. Juan Arraya and Mark Parsons, the top seeds and the new team everyone is interested in seeing, did not disappoint, beating Max Le Pivert and Casey Watt and Parson’s former partner, Johan du Randt and Stephen Mitchell en route to the semis.

Grangeiro/Wilkinson got off to a quick start in the semis, but Czerwinski/McNerney steadied their games while Wilkinson looked like his lack of play over the past year hurt him as Czerwinski/McNerney came through with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win. Burus/Stoisavljevic played well enough to pull off an upset in the other semi, but after saving a handful of match points at 4-5 in the second set to even the set at 5 all, Arraya/Parsons held on to put away the very competitive straight set win.

As they did in the semis, Czerwinski/McNerney found themselves quickly down a set in the finals. Lobbing well and volleying brilliantly, they managed to save two match points when they were down 6-4 in the second set tiebreaker and hold on to win the set. In the third set, Arraya/Parsons were ahead 2-1 and 3-2, but that was as close as they would get to the finish line, as Czerwinski/McNerney closed out the set 6-3. The fans at the Philadelphia Cricket Club and those watching on Live Streaming were treated to an amazing display of shot making from all four players.

Thank you to tournament director Scott Falatek, the tournament volunteers, and the staff at the Philadelphia Cricket Club for running a fantastic tournament, which including a great Friday night players’ party in addition to the Saturday night festivities.

Men’s Results:
Main Draw: Marek Czerwinski/Graham McNerney def. Juan Arraya/Mark Parsons, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Pete Rose/Paul Rose def. Johan du Randt/Stephen Mitchell, def.
Consolation: Nathan Crick/Randy Lofgren def.  Tyler Fraser/Wil Lofgren, 2-6, 7-5, 10-7
Consolation Reprieve: Adam Gottfried/Andrew Soule def. Robert Rowe/Chris Van Buren, 6-3, 6-1

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