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Kahler/Watt Three-peat at West Penn Open Men's
December 2, 2017
By Scott Kahler
The Fox Chapel Racquet Club hosted sixty-four teams in the Open and 95+ draw of the 2017 Men's West Penn Open. Players from Indianapolis, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Toronto and Pittsburgh participated. Special thanks go out to the staff at the Fox Chapel Racquet Club and all of the clubs in the area that provided courts for play, and of course Sean Casey and the Church Brew Works for providing beer!
The seeds held to form in the early rounds, as the top eight teams reached the quarterfinals. In the top half of the draw, Columbus' Mark Barry/Brian Heil beat Charlotte's Nathan Crick/Eric Miller, 6-3, 6-0, and in an all-Pittsburgh match-up, Ajay Khurana/Mike Wagner defeated John Mah/Filip Rams, 6-3, 6-3. In the bottom half, the seventh seeds from Chicago, Will Colmar and Adam Morgan, took out Ricky Heath/Tom Murphy of Indianapolis, 7-5, 7-6. The bottom quarterfinal saw top seeds Scott Kahler/Casey Watt defeat fellow Pittsburghers Tyler Noland/Dan Hersh, 6-1, 6-2.
The semifinals were played under the lights and in front of a lively crowd at the Fox Chapel Racquet Club. Khurana/Wagner used their excellent back court game to upset the 2nd seeded Barry/Heil, 6-3, 6-1. Kahler/Watt took on Colmar/Morgan in the final match of the evening. Lots of spin overheads and fast paced points kept both teams on their toes, but in the end Kahler/Watt prevailed, 6-2, 6-3.
Khurana/Wagner were appearing in their second West Penn finals, while Kahler/Watt were looking to win their third consecutive title. Khurana/Wagner jumped out of the gates early, taking a 3-0 lead in the first set, before Kahler/Watt were able to comeback for a 6-3, 6-0 victory.
In the 95+ draw, the top four seeds, all from Pittsburgh, made it to the semifinals. Top seeds Ray Tarasi/Jeff Troutman beat Phil Eskew/Chuck Vietmeier 6-2, 6-0, while the 2nd seeded team of Taylor Abbett/Wes Smith got past Wayne Dollard/Tom Drucis. In the finals, it was Tarasi/Troutman winning in three sets over Abbett/Smith.
Main Draw: Scott Kahler/Casey Watt def. Ajay Khurana/Mike Wagner, 6-3, 6-0
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Nathan Crick/Eric Miller def. Ricky Heath/Tom Murphy
16 Reprieve: Rashid Hassan/Matthew Riva def. Trevor Heck/Matt Rogers, 7-5, 6-7, 6-1
Consolation: David Lowe/Todd Wojtkowski def. David Held/George Higgins, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Last Chance: Craig Bennington/Nitin Gera def. Gavin Ford/James Troutman, 6-1, 6-3
Main Draw: Ray Tarasi/Jeff Troutman def. Taylor Abbett/Wes Smith
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Vijay Gulati/Dewayne Tuthill def. Tom Gray/John Larsen, 6-3, 6-3
Consolation: Greg Green/Greg Simakas def. Tim Maus/Matt Szigety, 6-2, 6-2
Last Chance: Terry Estes/Jim Martin def. Kevin Birnie/Thomas Kerr