Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tennis This Weekend & Beyond

Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League
Pro League is back in 2012 and the Heritage Palms stop is Friday the 13th. Hmmm, wonder if that’s a good sign for me? Well, I’ve got a new partner, I’m playing before the sun goes down, and, other than struggling to outrun Sammy the Snail, I’m feeling pretty good. If you would like to catch up on where things stand with Pro League you can click here. Matches start at 3:30pm.

Super Seniors Battling at Colonial

I took a ride up to
Colonial (Designated). This event brings out some of the best players from around the country, and it shows on the court. I’d like to have a couple of these guys as my partner for Pro League!
Colonial Country Club earlier today, and ingested a good sized slice of humble pie watching some of the action in the West Coast Super Senior Grand Prix at

In any event, we have some local talent in the event. Colonial’s Steve Shortridge is seeded 4th and Pelican Preserve’s Bob Green is seeded 5th in the 60’s. Steve has already played his way into the semis with two straight-set victories, and although Bob had no trouble in his first match, but fell to the No.2 Seed in the quarters. Steve will have to carry the mantel for Fort Myers against the same opponent at 10am tomorrow (Friday).

I can promise you that if you take a trip to Colonial this weekend you will see some of the best doubles you’re going to see live. Not only is the tennis great, but it’s inspirational! How can one not be inspired when you watch 80-year-old guys playing singles? Well, I suppose some might actually feel shame rather than inspiration…

Peter Redpath and David Vaughan have garnered the No.1 seed in the 55s Doubles, and will take on Armor Persons of Breckenridge and Rick Stanton of Estero. Steve Shortridge will partner with Mark Bearby of Long Grove, IL against Blake Matherly of Fort Myers and Willy Hoffmann of Bonita Springs. Both matches are at 2:30pm on Saturday.

Armor and Greg Copeland, also of Fort Myers, are playing in the 55s Singles as well, both debuting at 11:30am tomorrow (Friday). Larry Gagnon and Terry See are seeded 4th in the 60s Doubles and will join the fray tomorrow (Friday) morning at 11:30am. Steve Shreiner and his partner Howard Ames of Danvers, MA cruised 1 & 2 today, and face the top seeds tomorrow at 2:30pm.

Other local names you might recognize in the 60s Doubles include J. Webb Horton (former FGCU Tennis Coach), who played against Greg Copeland; and Jeff Boston of Fort Myers, who played with A. R. Parker of Bonita Springs. In the 65s Doubles, Larry Albritton of Lehigh and Mike Melnik of Bonita Springs are seeded No.2, and will play their first match tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at 4pm.

Josh Wardell Shines
Big congrats to Josh Wardell whose talent and work continues to pay off. Most recently (last week), as an unseeded entry, Josh won the Dave Barkesdale Jr. Dixie Winter Sectional Boys 18 event, upending the No. 1 Seed, Brett Clark, in a three-set final. Clark, the top-ranked player in USTA Florida Boys 18 rankings, had not dropped a set in the event before running into Josh. In all, Josh took out the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 8th seeds en route to claiming the title. Oh, and by the way, Josh is still eligible to play in the 16s!

Edison Tennis Classic on Horizon
It’s almost time for the 39th edition of the Edison Tennis Classic, the area’s longest running tournament for adults, so mark your calendar. Singles and Mixed Doubles will be held February 10-12, and Men’s and Women’s Doubles will be held the following weekend (17-19).
More info will be on the way well in advance of the entry deadline, but I just wanted to give you a heads up so you can start honing your skills and wooing doubles and mixed doubles partners. New Senior Program Coordinator, Carly Carpenter, is planning on this being a colossal event and I have a feeling she’s gonna pull it off.

Australian Open on Deck
As might be expected, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are seeded No.s 1 and 2 respectively in Men’s singles, but I don’t know that I’ll be picking either of them to claim the Men’s title. In the Women’s Draw, Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova are seeded 1 and 2 respectively, but Wozniacki has yet to claim a Slam, Kvitova has, and Kvitova has lost just one match on tour since the beginning of October 2011.

I have to do additional research before doing a full preview, but it should be interesting to see if Novak can regain the form with which he began last year, whether Roger’s resurgence is for real, and if Wozniacki can finally get off "schneid" in the Grand Slams.

Well, I better get this thing out; running late as is. Look for full Australian Open preview, more from the Super Senior’s at Colonial, and a Leagues Report over the next few days days. Game, set, match…T A

1 comment:

  1. T.A. Thank you so much for the wonderful review of both junior, senior and Professional tennis! It is exciting to see pics of friends and neighbors and share in their success right along side of the professionals' pursuits. Thanks! Sandy Miller