Niculescu-Ondrejkova, Broderick-Palmer Claim 2016 APTA National Titles

March 3-6, 2016
Darien, CT

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Broderick and Palmer Repeat!

Sun shone on Drew Broderick and Jared Palmer today at the Men's Nationals. In front of a crowd of over 500, the reigning champs again proved impressive. Johan du Randt and Mark Parsons put up a great fight as usual, holding off one set point in the first, but were unable to erase the deficit. Broderick and Palmer won the first set, 6-4. In the second set, at 2-2, a few calls didn't go du Randt and Parsons' way, and you could visibly see the air go out of the tires. Despite that, the points were exceptional and long. Just when you thought they were going to last over 100 hits, some sort of derivative shot would win the battle. Broderick and Palmer stayed on top of the points in the second set, and were able to capitalize on key deuce and ad points, winning the second set 6-3. 

Men's Final Draw 

Niculescu and Ondrejkova Win Their First Nationals

The young players with long last names were joyful and triumphant at this year's Women's Nationals. Cynthia Dardis and Amy Shay were on the right course for their first Open Nationals victory, but Gabriela Niculescu and Martina Ondrejkova had other plans. They won the first set 6-4. In both sets, there was no shortage of excellent drives, lobs, and resetting from net to baseline in the long final. The second set went to a tie-breaker. Niculescu and Ondrejkova held the lead the entire time, though, and hoisted the cup with pride.

Women's Final Draw 

Men's Quarters Light Up the Crowd

The men's quarterfinals were as entertaining as expected. Seeds 1, 2, 3, and 5 made it to the semis. Fourth seeds Steve DeRose and Jon Lubow were close to taking a set off Juan Arraya and Max LePivert, who admitted to going away for a little while. Arraya and LePivert held their ground and take on Drew Broderick and Jared Palmer in the final.

Johan du Randt and Mark Parsons dazzled the full bleachers with spins, wicked hard backhand drives and tons of motion. George Wilkinson and Marco Grangeiro wore down the Indiana men, Ryan Baxter and Ricky Heath. Baxter was still showing wounds from the Round of 16 match with John Hughes and Mark Power, when he dove for a dropshot and came up bloody but not beaten. Sunday's semis: Broderick/Palmer vs.Arraya/LePivert; DuRandt/Parsons vs. Grangeiro/Wilkinson.

Women's Semis Were All Barn Burners

Different styles of play offered the enthralled crowd with many teachable moments. Cynthia Dardis and Amy Shay were steady as ever against Kerri Delmonico and Lauren Gebbia, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Love those momentum swings.

Gabriela Niculescu and Martina Ondrejkova drove and drove, and Ania Kazakevich and Heather Prop drove back in a highly athletic battle. Niculescu and Ondrejkova were able to get up a break in the first and held up well in the second set tiebreaker. Sunday's final: Dardis/Shay versus Niculescu/Ondrejkova.

7 of 8 Women in  the Semi-Finals have never won Nationals

Who will join the illustrious group? But there was just one upset in the quarters, when Ania Kazakevich and Heather Prop defeated 2 time champs Ana Brzova and Viki Stoklasova in two sets.

Hall of Fame Dinner Honors Chris Gambino and Mike Gillespie The newest inductees donned the Green Jacket amid accolades

The Country Club of Darien hosted the Hall of Fame Dinner at Nationals, honoring inductees Chris Gambino and Mike Gillespie. (In a ceremony in February, Bobo Delaney was inducted as well.)

Hall of Fame Committee Chair Steve Baird started the evening off by introducing APTA President Scott Bondurant, who in turned introduced Chris Gambino to the 300+ players, Hall-of-Famers, family and friends in attendance. Gambino accepted the award with the poise he is known for on the court. In particular, he mentioned the support of his wife, the rapport with his former partners, Dave “Beardless” Ohlmuller and Drew “Cologne” Broderick, and heavily praised his current partner and friend, Marek Czerwinski.

Mike Gillespie was introduced by Hall-of-Famer Tim McAvoy, who lauded Gillespie for mentoring countless juniors and building the pool of professionals in the sport, as well as his winning ways. Gillespie thanked his family, his partners including his former and current partner Ron Erskine, and Gerri Viant, among others.

The ceremony was completed after Baird helped both gentlemen into their perfectly fitted Hall of Fame jackets.

Congratulations to the winners of the APTA Viking President's Cup

Thursday at Nationals was busy with teams from seven regions filling the Connecticut clubhouses duking it out for the President’s Cup. The men were split into two divisions, with one champion in each playing in the finals for the Cup. The women play each region with shortened matches, hoping to win the most match-ups.

At the PCup ceremony Thursday night, the women of Region I, Jill Feher and her group, were awarded the trophy, after winning head to head over close competitors, Region II and Region V.

Jeff Morneau, Region II PCup Captain, amused the crowd by hoisting the cup more than once, just to get the feel of winning something, anything. Region II and Region I were split in matches, at 2-2, with one match still on the court. John Hughes and Faycal Rhazali held off a few match points by Brett Kraft and Victor Vidal to win a tie-breaker at 13-11, giving Region II their fourth PCup win.

Congratulations to all of the captains and team members who solidified the concept of teamwork and camaraderie in this great, fun game.

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