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The Midwesterns Men’s Preview
January 9, 2017
Over two months have passed since the Chicago Charities, the most recent Grand Prix tournament, where Mark Parsons and Johan du Randt took back the title from Drew Broderick and Jared Palmer. Neither du Randt nor Palmer will be competing in Cincinnati, but Broderick and Parsons will be there playing with other partners, headlining an extremely strong field.
Although Broderick and Parsons aren’t playing with their regular partners, as half of the number one and number two teams in the country, they both must be considered serious contenders. Parsons will be playing with Steve DeRose, no stranger to the winner’s circle himself. Most recently, DeRose, who won The Midwesterns last year with Broderick, teamed with Broderick again to win the Sound Shore Invitational the weekend before Thanksgiving. Broderick will be playing with 25th ranked Anton Mavrin.
Juan Arraya and Jeff Morneau have been on a tear since Chicago Charities. Seeded fifth at the Sound Shore Invitational, Arraya and Morneau took out the second seeded John Hughes and Marc Powers in the quarters and the third seeded Max LePivert and George Wilkinson in the semis before succumbing to Broderick and DeRose in the finals. Arraya and Morneau continued their hot streak at the Western New England NRT/Viking PCQ, where they again beat both Hughes/Powers and LePivert/Wilkinson to take the title. Hughes/Powers are not entered in The Midwesterns, but both Arraya/Morneau and LePivert/Wilkinson hope to be holding the winner’s trophy at the end of next weekend.
Another hot team to look out for in Cincinnati is Mikk Irdoja and Dan Regan. Irdoja and Regan won the Duane Hayden Long Island Invitational on December 4, defeating Marco Grangeiro and Nathan LeFevre in the finals. LeFevre and Scott Estes are teaming up in Cincinnati, and they are always a tough out, as are Grangeiro and his partner for the tournament, Alex Bancila.
Scott Kahler and Casey Watt won the West Penn Open in early December, beating Ryan Baxter and Ricky Heath in the finals. Both teams will be looking to make a run in Cincinnati.
Other teams to keep an eye on are the sixth ranked Martin Bostrom and Sebastian Bredberg, Ben McKnight and Pete Rose, local favorite Rob Bakker and Flip Goodspeed, and Adam Morgan and Dane Schmidgall. Schmidgall has a recent NRT title under his belt, winning the Cleveland Masters in November with Jeronie Barnes.
No matter which of these teams comes through the draw, there is sure to be plenty of great competition. Tune in to the APTA Network January 13-15 to see great paddle and find out who will win the third Grand Prix title of the 2016-2017 season.