Philly Open Recap

February 23, 2020
Philadelphia, PA

2020 Philadelphia Open Women's Final Results (doc) (pdf)

2020 Philadelphia Open Men's Premier Final Results (doc) (pdf)

2020 Philadelphia Open Men's Final Results (doc) (pdf)

The atmosphere at the Grand Prix Philly Open was relaxed, the weather was perfect for the spectators, the venue comfortable and sizable, the food the best of any tournament ever, and the level of play highly entertaining. The only thing lacking may have been dramatic wins in the Men’s Premier and Women’s Open—hardly any three-setter sweaters. The only true upsets came in the women’s draw when two top teams (Laura Berendt/Roxy Enica and Chelsea Nusslock/Alexis Prousis) had to withdraw, which changed the dynamic. The Men’s Open, on the other hand, had a plethora of three-set battles, with not much talent difference between teams going to the semis and teams going to the back draws.

With 32 teams, and four seeds, this group was a mix of top teams and Region III competitors. Jessica Guyaux and Myrthe Molenveld, who played extremely well at the Boston Open, fended off 13-ranked Maria Manley and Pamela Ruoff in the round of 16, but lost by a break in each set in the quarterfinals to top seeds Martina Ondrejkova and Ana Zubori. Alison Morgan and Charlotte Sikora, another excellent team this season, lost to solid play by Annica Cooper and Flor Hanisch in the quarterfinals. Cynthia Dardis and Amy Shay rolled over Lucy Nutting and Jaclyn Williamson, but fourth seeds Kerri Delmonico and Lauren Gebbia were overpowered by Macie Elliott and Marcela Rodezno in the other quarterfinal matches.

The women dealt with the mid-afternoon dazzling sun with differing degrees of success during the semifinals; the fans happily soaked it up. Cooper/Hanisch rolled over Dardis/Shay in the first set, but as usual, the long-time partners fought back to within a tiebreaker, losing the second set by two points, 6-0, 7-6. The second semifinal—Elliott/Rodezno vs. Ondrejkova/Zubori was a first set battle, with delicious shot making by both sides, but the flawless unseeded team outplayed Ondrejkova/Zubori in the second set, winning 7-5, 6-2.

After four matches, both teams had time to relax for the rest of the day to return for the finals on Saturday. Both teams came out fresh. Cooper/Hanisch played some one-up one-back to test their challengers, and Elliott/Rodezno seemed to work on Cooper’s forehand when possible. The second set was more of the same, with both teams showing more patience than in the first. Hanisch seemed to be the one player to take a risk every once in a while and it worked out for her. Cooper/Hanisch won, 6-4, 6-4.

The challenge was deciding which matches to watch in the round of 16; the best teams in the country or the many new combos of some of the highest ranked players. If you chose the right match, you got both. Top seeds Johan du Randt and Steve Mitchell and second seeds Juan Arraya and Mark Parsons were where the money was, but fourth seeds Tyler Fraser with Marco Grangeiro and unseeded Max LePivert and Anton Protsenko would be obvious frontrunners as well. LePivert/Protsenko knocked out third seeds Wil Colmar and Adam Morgan in the quarters and gave Arraya/Parsons a good three-set match in the semis, but to no avail. Fraser/Grangeiro put up an impressive effort against du Randt/Mitchell, not reflected in their score of 6-2, 6-1.

The final was set with the top two seeds; everyone loves seeing du Randt and Parsons on opposite sides of the net as much as everyone loved watching them as a team a few short years ago. The deck was filled with spectators, enjoying local beer on tap and top-level paddle. The first set went easily to Arraya/Parsons, with Parsons being particularly energetic, making sharp and, at times, sneaky shots. Du Randt and Mitchell were on the high end of the error threshold. In the second set, du Randt and Mitchell came out a bit flat but picked it up and dialed it in as time went on, enticing Arraya to go for fun spin shots that didn’t always clear the net. Mitchell’s highlights were on his returns that led to winning an important 4-5 game, get the team to 6-5 and set point until Arraya’s dropshot cutters started working. The 10-minute second-set tiebreaker was a wonderful culmination of the Men’s Premier draw, with Arraya/Parsons taking the trophy home.

Top seeds Genius Chidzikwe and Admire Mushonga, two of the talented players in the Men’s Open, combined well for five matches, taking out the fourth seeds, Karl Levanat and Faycal Rhazali, in a three-set semifinal. (Levanat/Rhazali’s children were the family champions the next day in the Junior Nationals Boys 12s.) Second seeds Mitch Granger and Alex Lambropoulos also played a three-set semi against Will Kendall and Hall-of-Famer Mike Stulac. Chidzikwe/Mushonga outmatched Mitch Granger and Alex Lambropoulos in the final, 6-2, 7-5.

Many thanks to Tournament Director Scott Falatek, PCC’s Greg Bowser, the staff at Philadelphia Country Club, the hut commanders all around the Philadelphia area, Waynesborough Country Club for hosting the Men’s Open lunch, the players, the sponsors, and the spectators. The APTA would like to thank our Live Stream commentators and EnetLive team. Thanks to Tour Director Jackie Cameron for directing well.



L to R Finalists Marcela Rodezno and Macie Elliott, Winners Florentina Hanisch and Annica Cooper. 



L to R Winners Mark Parsons and Juan Arraya


L to R Winners Juan Arraya and Mark Parsons, Finalists, Steve Mitchell and Johan du Randt



Winners Chidzikwe and Mushonga, Finalists Granger and Lambropoulos  

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