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2009 Philadelphia Open
KEITH STUDNICK with TOM SAFFORD
FEBRUARY 23, 2009
For the third consecutive year, David Marvin and Marvin and Palmer Associates, Inc. put their money where their heart is in getting the best platform tennis players in the country to Philadelphia to compete in the Philadelphia Open. David, a long time paddle enthusiast, has been supporting the Philadelphia area paddle community for many years--much to the appreciation of many platform tennis players and fans. This year, the draw was limited to 48 men’s teams and 32 women’s teams and featured many of the top 25 teams gearing up for the Nationals in Cincinnati.
This year’s tournament director is also no stranger to the Philadelphia community. Tim McAvoy took over the reigns of the tournament and gathered a team of volunteers to staff each paddle hut and make sure that the tournament participants had everything they needed to ensure a ‘smooth as glass’ event. Tim has been planning this event since late last year and it showed off in the fact that all players were able to get around the venues easily, the matches went off when scheduled (when not saddled with a 2+ hour match in a prior round) and no less important, a stellar dinner and party at Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli, Pennsylvania.
With the draw ladened with national talent, many wondered how the local teams would fare. Last year, the top local team of Scott Falatek and Todd Marvin had a huge win over the former national champions Chris Gambino and David Ohlmuller in the round of 16’s. Falatek and Marvin had lost to only one Region III team in the past year and everyone was looking at their match ups.
It turned out to be a perfect day for late February in the Philadelphia area. The sun was shining and the temperatures were heating up along with the play. At 8am the first of the teams took the court – THE GOAL – to not be OUT of the tournament by noon! For many locals, a lofty goal. No surprises came out of any of the first round matches for the men or women. By the 2nd round (32’s) of the men’s the lines were CLEARLY DRAWN- those with the better skill sets showed no mercy. There was talk of “moral” victories (another word for we got our butts kicked but got more games than we thought we would!) and by the 16’s things really started to heat up. All but one seed held as Dan Rothschild & John Schmitt lost in a thrilling 3rd set breaker to Parsons & O’Conner.
Against the second seeded team of Alex Bancila and Brad Easterbrook, the local team of Vlatko Najdek and Bruce Repdath won their first set and it looked like it was going to be a Philly day but the second seeded team tightened up their play and won the next two sets to secure the match, 6-3 in the third.
The seeds on the women’s side got some scares but went with the ‘bend don’t break’ adage. Local favorites Laurie Hissey and Cooey Lyon tried to make the best of a tough draw and gave #1 seed Keri Delmonico and Aila Main all they could handle – up 4-2, 40-15 in the 3rd, the locals could not hold off the national experience of the #1 seeds and fell 6-4.
All eyes then went to National champs and locals – Cindy Prendergast and Lauren Zink who faced #2 seed Mary Doten and Susie Keane in a much anticipated quarter final match. Prendergast and Zink could not overcome some early rust and Doten/Keane won in straights.
Trying to help out those who were travelling, the tournament committee decided to play the semifinals under the lights while those who had done battle earlier in the day were sipping libations and “dreaming” of what could have been! They were treated to thrills as both the men and women’s quarters and semis put on quite the show. Mike Gillespie and Juan Pablo Martinez Arraya knocked off the #8 seed Thadeus Reed and Todd Ward and then followed that up with a thrilling victory over Bancila & Easterbrook in the semis.
David Caldwell and Anthony Cosimano took the momentum from their Short Hills victory and proved seedings are not a perfect science – thrilling the crowd with a late night victory over Denny English and Brian Heil. The men could not join the party and look forward to a Caldwell/Cosimano – Gillespie/Arraya final in the morning.
The women’s seeds held true as Doten/Keane defeated Marina Ohlmuller & Susan Tarzian while Delmonico & Main got over their early scare and settled down to defeat Nancy Budde & Heather Propp, setting up a #1 vs. #2 final in the morning.
The finals were held under cloudy skies on Sunday. Both of the men’s teams arrived early to warm up and prepare for the championship match. It appeared that either the team of Caldwell and Cosimano had a plane to catch or did not want to get their hair wet as they ran off a straight sets win over Mike Gillespie and Juan Arraya 1 and 3. The women’s final was a mirror image of the men’s as the team of Doten & Keane also ran off a straight sets win over Delmonico and Main 2 and 1.
All of the participants agreed that this was an incredibly well run tournament, from the volunteers at all of the venues, the meals, the favors, the great competition and camaraderie. To Tim, this year’s tournament was a mini-practice run for the 2010 Nationals which is also going to be held in Philadelphia. “Our hope is that all of the players that showed up for the 2009 Philly Open had a great time and will tell their friends that they have to attend the 2010 Nationals next year.”
Tournament director Tim McAvoy wants to extend an extra special thank you to David Marvin and Marvin & Palmer for their generosity over the past few years and attracting some of the best talent in the country. He also wants to thank all of the local clubs, numerous volunteers, his wife and family for their support and assistance, and other sponsors that made the 2009 Philly Open truly a first class event and looks forward to seeing everyone next March for the Nationals, which promises to be even bigger and better.
|Main Draw||Caldwell & Cosimano||Gillespie & Arraya|
|64 Reprieve||Greenwood & Hall||Ray & Rechmeyer6-3, 7-6||6-3, 7-6|
|64 Rep. Consolation||Bozentka - Beers||Wheeler - Pagonyi||8-6|
|16 Reprieve||Bakker - Jones||Reed - Ward|
|Quarter Reprieve||English - Heil||Cochrane - Jonason||6-4, 6-4|
|32 Reprieve||Mavrin – D’Addario||Mangan - Newman||6-1, 6-2|
|Main Draw||Doten – Keane||Delmonico - Main||6-2, 6-1|
|32 Reprieve||Carpenter - Allen||Johnston - Thompson||7-6, 7-6|
|32 Rep. Consolation||Baker - Lannon||O’Leary - Stahl||6-4, 6-2|
|16 Reprieve||Hissey - Lyon||Dutton - Heidenberger||6-4, 6-2|
|Quarter Reprieve||Jaffe - Rudloff vs. Griffith - LeBlanc to be played on L.I.|