FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- New champions were crowned as the American Platform Tennis Association held the first Grand Prix tournament of the season at the Patterson Club Men's and Women's Open in Fairfield.
Gabi Niculescu of Norwalk, pro at the Milbrook Club in Greenwich, and Martina Ondrejkova of Stamford, pro at the Wee Burn Country Club in Darien, took the women’s title.
Mark Parsons of Norwalk, pro at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y., and Johan du Randt of Wayland, Mass., won the men’s title.
The matches played all weekend gave a glimpse of the fierce competition expected during the season ahead.
In the women’s draw, co-No.1 seeds Cynthia Dardis of Stamford, pro at the Stanwich Club in Greenwich, and Amy Shay of Wilton, pro at the Woodway Country Club in Darien, cruised through to the finals without dropping a set.
Yet, the finals were a rematch of the 2016 APTA National Championship finals with Niculescu/Ondrejkova defeating Dardis/Shay 6-4, 6-1 in a contest that showcased a mastery of shot-making from both teams.
In the men’s final, when du Randt/Parsons won the first set while only losing one game, it looked like the match would be over quickly. However, their opponents, the new team of Max Le Pivert of Stamford, pro at Aspectuck Valley Country Club in Weston, and George Wilkinson of Stamford, pro at the Manursing Island Club in Rye, N.Y, had other ideas and won the second set 6-4.
Although du Randt/Parsons emerged with a hard-fought 7-5 third-set victory and the Patterson Club Open title, Le Pivert/Wilkinson’s play signaled that they could rise to the top of the APTA ranks this year.
The tournament was held on the weekend of Oct. 8 and 9.
Full draws can be viewed on www.platformtennis.org.
The APTA’s next Grand Prix tournament will take place in Chicago, IL next month, and the remaining in the series are slated for Cincinnati, OH, Boston, Mass. and Short Hills, N.J.
The American Platform Tennis Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that governs the sport for its 17,000 members.
The APTA sanctions more than 180 annual tournaments, including 26 national championship events.
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