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2010 St. Louis Platform Tennis Invitational
FEBRUARY 25, 2010
ST. LOUIS, MO
It was terrific to open the last issue of Platform Tennis Magazine and see a feature article about the APTA exhibition and clinics in St. Louis. Todd Ward was able to introduce the sport to many new players. For the veterans, it was important to be directly exposed to the APTA and learn more about their role in both governing and growing platform tennis. The collaborative efforts of Barb Berger, Todd and a new leadership team have created sustainable interest in the St. Louis Men’s League. For the first time, demand exceeded the number of available spots in the league. The heightened interest level lead to several teams entering the St. Louis Invitational for the first time. Overall, 23 of the 30 teams in the 2010 event were from St. Louis. Plans are underway, however, to expand next year’s tournament and to avoid conflicts within Region V.
While we had the local talent, the out-of-town teams brought the big guns. Dan Kepner and Scott Morton (Springfield, IL) have finally mastered the directional draw. Their Saturday play put them into a Sunday semi-final against Rob Christopherson and Mike Rosetto, comrades from the Illinois capital. Kepner and Morton prevailed 6-4, 7-5 before holding off Frank Childress and Jim Johnson in the bracket final.
Pictured at right (l-r):
Finalists Chuck Coleman, Rick Witsken,
Andy Metzler & Kevin Kowalik
All of the Sunday matches have significance as each set won contributes to your group’s point total for the Calcutta. Last year saw a memorable match in the last chance division which may have lead to the break-up of one of the teams. This year, party host Chris Wright teamed with Scott Schmid. Chris shook off Saturday night’s effects to return to the courts at 8am on Sunday. Schmid/Wright outlasted Ramsey Maune and David Poole 7-6, 2-6, 7-5 in a marathon. Then, Schmid/Wright displayed their superior conditioning in the consolation finals by overtaking Moss Alexander and Mark Mannion in a three-setter, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.
The Brass Balls award was presented to David Connor (Kansas City) and Hayden Jaques (New York) for providing their group with four crucial Calcutta points. Connor and Jaques cruised past John Drew and Brad Cytron in the third set. Connor/Jaques then ended the remarkable run of Dave Castleman and JP Martha in their final.
Bum Phillips once said, “We’ve been knocking on the door. Next year, we’re going to kick the damn thing down!” Bob Holthaus and Art Kerckhoff could have said the same thing and their perseverance paid off as they won their bracket with a close win over newbies, Rob Golterman and J.R. Mayer.
Other bracket winners were Dan Guirl and Scott Seyfried as well as Mike Carr and Frank Sant.
Last minute seeding adjustments by Bob Curtis lead to the top eight teams making the quarters. At his own expense, Bob correctly lobbied for Kevin Kowalik and Andy Metzler (Kansas City) to receive a higher seed. The duo sailed into the main draw semi-finals against the defending champions and two-time winners, Graham Bundy and Rick Meyer. As seemed commonplace throughout the tournament, the St. Louis team was on the wrong end of a lop-sided third set. The lower half semi-final saw a mini-surprise as Tom Fluri and Bill Stude took a set off of Chuck Coleman and Rick Witsken (Indianapolis). However, see the previous comment in this paragraph about third set results. The championship match lived up to expectations with thrilling play throughout. Ultimately, Kowalik and Metzler were crowned champions with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory.
Looks like St. Louis needs to bring some young tennis studs into the game.