Strong Showing at the Western New England Open

Dave Fuller
February 18, 2012
Longmeadow, MA

FinalistsJohan du Randt and Rob Pierce were crowned as champions at the 22st annual Western New England Championships, in Region II’s fifth and final President’s Cup event of the season.   The event was held at Longmeadow’s Field Club on February 11, 2012. 

Final Draw   (Don't miss the slide show below.)

Pierce and du Randt prevailed by scores of 6-4, 6-0 over the Fairfield County team of Juan Pablo Arraya and Mark Fischl before a large crowd.  (Photo at left pictures (l-r) Arraya, Fischl, Pierce, du Randt.)Du Randt and Arraya traded many creative slices and drives while their partners supplied steadying defense.  After a tightly-contested first set the victors raised their games ever so slightly and dominated a quick second set to secure the championship.  Arraya and Fischl had patiently waited to start their day as first round combatants battled in a marathon match, then methodically advanced to the final by eliminating Jeff Morneau and Bill Power and then Alex Seiler and Chuck Poe in the quarters and semis respectively.  Not even the courtside barbecue smoke swirling around the action interfered with their play.  Du Randt, who had highlighted a local paddle clinic the Friday evening before the event, gave an advanced clinic throughout the tournament Saturday, demonstrating his mastery of the nuances of the racquet game he has played for only a handful of years.  It is no mystery that he has advanced to the #1 ranking in the sport. 

Through the aggressive recruitment efforts of new tournament chair Jeff Morneau, the Longmeadow entries grew to 24 teams, and attracted out-of-towners from as far away as Rochester.  The event also marked the tournament debut of the Field Club’s new fifth court, erected in the fall.  Region II President Rob Coster, an observer throughout the day, commented, when asked to give his impressions of the event, “Jeff runs a first class event, and it’s encouraging to see Johan’s game develop.  He’s come a long way since that Brae Burn B.  I only wish he could still play President’s Cup.” 
Congratulations to all the winners and finalists!

Main Draw Johan du Randt/Rob Pierce Juan Martinez-Arraya/Mark Fischl 6-4, 6-0
Quarter Reprieve Jeff Morneau/Bill Power Paul Fairchild/Naren Dhamodharan 6-3, 3-6, 7-6
Reprieve Mike Shields/John Hughes Adam Gart/Nick Mazzarese 7-6, 7-5
Consolation Brad Hoffman/Dan Nash Hans Doup/Robert Durfee 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Consolation Reprieve Jonathan Spencer/Mike Freedman Timothy Scanlon/Steve McKenna 6-0, 6-3

2012 Western NE Men's PCQ Slide Show - Photos courtesy of Per Nilsson

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