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John Hughes and Marc Powers Rise To Number 1 at Philly Nationals
February 17-18, 2018
Could John Hughes/Marc Powers make it four in a row? That was the burning question as the top APTA men’s players headed into the Philly Open, the final Grand Prix of the 2017-2018 season. After winning the Duane Hayden Long Island Invitational, the Western New England Men’s, and turning in a dominant performance to win the Boston Open, Hughes/Powers continued their astonishingly high level of play in Philly, earning them the number one ranking and making them the definitive favorites heading into the APTA National Championships.
For the most part, form held in the early rounds, and seven of the top eight seeds reached the quarterfinals. The one exception came when the seventh seeds, Brian Compton and Marek Czerwinski, fell to Sven Burus and Roman Stoisavljevic, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3. Burus/Stoisavljevic scored last weekend’s major upset in Short Hills, notching a three set quarterfinal win over Johan du Randt and Mark Parsons. This week, du Randt/Parsons exacted their revenge, knocking out Burus/Stoisavljevic in straight sets in the quarters.
In other quarterfinal matches, Juan Arraya and Jeff Morneau (2), who survived a tough round of 16 challenge from Ryan Baxter and Zachary Held, beat Marco Grangeiro and Scott Kahler (5), Hughes/Powers (1) defeated Tyler Fraser and Paulo Gonzalez (8), and Graham McNerney and Casey Watt (6) got the better of Martin Bostrom and Sebastian Bredberg (3) in heavy snow.
In the semifinals, du Randt/Parsons once again looked like the team that won two APTA National Championships together, only losing three games to Arraya/Morneau. That victory set up a rematch of the Boston semifinals with Hughes/Powers, who beat McNerney/Watt in straight sets.
With du Randt/Parsons looking like they were regaining their form in time to peak for Nationals, the final was eagerly anticipated. They couldn’t find any answers against Hughes/Powers, however, who played another nearly flawless match and lost only four games.
When asked how it feels to finally be the number one players in the country, Hughes answered, “We are excited to be number one. We’ve put in the work and its nice to get the results. Powers added, “We are starting to be able to implement a lot of what we’ve worked on in practice into our matches, and it is paying off.” Now that they hold the number one ranking and the number one seeding for Nationals, it is up to the rest of the field to rise to their level and see if they can stop them.
Thank you to Tournament Director Scott Falatek and the staff and volunteers at the Philadelphia Cricket Club for hosting a great weekend.
Main Draw: John Hughes/Marc Powers def. Johan du Randt/Mark Parsons, 6-1, 6-3
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Tyler Fraser/Paulo Gonzalez def. Sven Burus/Roman Stoisavljevic, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
Reprieve: Ryan Baxter/Zachary Held def. Michael Montalbano/Louis Volclair, 6-0, 6-1
Round of 32 Consolation: Nathan Crick/Randy Lofgren def. Genius Chidzikwe/Henry Walsh, 6-3, 6-3
Round of 32 Consolation Reprieve: Alex Hume/Jon Lubow def. Gustavo Goncalves/Andrew Orban, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
Consolation: David Lowe/Ryan Mullaney III def. Juan Carlos Cotto/Steve MacGregor
Consolation Reprieve: Bill Dwyer/Nima Roshan def. Pete Carpenter/Mike Furman