Wednesday, April 18, 2012

USPTA at Eau Gallie: Finals Day

Note: If you would like to skip the commentary and just get to the results, just scroll down. Thanks to Mike Baldwin and Milos Vasovic for photographic contributions! For additional photos, click here Now here's my take...

Ron & T A team up in Pro Am
Day 2 of the USPTA Florida Fast Dry & 10S Supply Grand Prix Circuit at Eau Gallie Yacht Club was even more enriching for me than Day 1. The day began with the usual Finals Day Pro-Am, but somehow this Pro-Am didn’t feel “usual.” 

Eau Gallie Pro-Am a Blast
Stacy McHenry, Ted Parker, Scott & Deb Kemps  
Generally the Pro-Ams are pleasant affairs, with the members and pros sharing some fun, but competitive, interaction on court.

Pro Am participants

I typically have a good time at these events, but I had an especially satisfying time playing with Eau Gallie members Stacy McHenry, Scott Kemps, Ron Askeland & Ted Parker against Rich Boysen, a professional who regularly shares his knowledge at Eau Gallie.
Niles & Neuhart Again in 50s
The Pro-Am alone would have made my day, but I had another opportunity to face my biggest (in more ways than one) on-court rival in Greg Neuhart in the Men’s 50 Singles Final.

Greg Neuhart
It was the second time in three weeks that we had met, and the second time that I escaped with the “W.” This time, I squeaked out a 7-6, 6-4 victory, while the previous one went three sets (click here for details).

Virginia Toledo & Greg. 
Told ya he was big!
Of course, both “W’s” have asterisks next to them, because Greg’s elbow is still putting a hurt on him and his usually devastating serve. But I’m taking “W’s” any which way I can get em these days. Not sure how many more are in the cards given my own physical challenges. 

Kudos to Eau Gallie Members     
Yep, winning’s great, but you know what made the match special: The participation of Eau Gallie’s members, and Greg’s battle to control his frustration. We chose to play our match away from the main viewing area, but in a cozy corner court with a shaded grandstand. 

John Heiss & Scott McHenry
Fewer than ten members came to watch, but the commentary, the banter, and the encouragement were worth more than a crowd ten times larger. I don’t know how much Greg appreciated their presence, but they sure made the experience memorable for me.  

Eau Gallie members take in the action
I’m guessing that the member turnout and participation contributed to the experiences of the other event participants as well. Speaking of the other participants, let’s take a look at how things played out in the different divisions on Finals Day.

Turnquist & Morales Win Open & 45s
Erik Turnquist & Jay Grollman
In the Men’s Open, Erik Turnquist defeated Jay Grollman 7-6, 6-1 with Eau Gallie members loudly expressing their pleasure at the proceedings. 

John Morales
The crowd was treated to a terrific Final in the Men’s 45 Singles Division, in which John Morales out-dueled Stan Oley, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Maharaj Takes 60s
In the Men’s 60s, Gewan Maharaj continued his dominion over that division, defeating Steve Shortridge 6-3, 6-0. Maharaj then teamed with Mike Dickens to beat Shortridge and Bill Davidson in 60 Doubles, 6-0, 6-2. In the Men’s 50 Doubles, Greg and I faced Steve and Mike and took it 6-1, 6-1.

Boysen & Davis Claim 40 Dubs
John Morales & Mike Baldwin
Although Rich Boysen and Paul Davis had already clinched the Men’s 40 Doubles title the day before, the spectators had the pleasure of witnessing a spirited battle for Finalist honors.  In that contest, Mike Baldwin and John Morales downed Stan Oley and Rich Oswald 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. 

Doesn't Stan look Unhappy?
I can tell you that Stan was not a happy camper post battle, having gone down twice to John in three sets that day! It was a big day for Mike, as he also took second-place honors in the Men’s 35 Singles by posting a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Ed Shanapy.

Milos runs the show
After the matches, I spent a few moments chatting with Eau Gallie’s members, and they were enthusiastically planning for next year’s event already! What a great group of tennis fans! In addition to the “Job well done” earned by Milos, his staff, and Mike Baldwin, we can’t forget those who helped make it happen financially.

Event Sponsors
There would be no events without the circuit's title sponsors, USPTA Florida, Fast Dry Courts (FDC), and 10S Tennis Supply, so major gratitude to these folks. The circuit receives additional support from USTA Florida, Welch Tennis, Giliberti Inc., Stan Oley Tennis Equipment and The Wimbledon Experience. 
Despite all of the above, there would be no events if there was no venue support at the local level.

Steve Ryland
Shay Rowe
At Eau Gallie, Steve Ryland of Beachside Physical Therapy, and Shay Rowe of Mercedes-Benz of Melbourne came up big in support of the event, and I know they have Milos’ gratitude and certainly mine! I hope I’m able to make the trek across the State again next year!

Below are results of the divisions playedClick here if you would like to view all tournament draws and info. Until next time; game, set, match...T. A.

Event Results
Women’s 45 Singles

Carolyn Franca
Sabita Maharaj
Champion- Sabita Maharaj
Finalist- Carolyn Franca
Final Score- 7-6; 4-6; 10-6

Men’s Open Singles
Erik Turnquist & Jay Grollman
Champion- Erik Turnquist
Finalist- Jay Grollman
Final Score- 7-6, 6-1

Men’s 35 Singles (Round Robin)
Milos Vasovic & Mike Baldwin
Champion- Milos Vasovic
Second Place- Mike Baldwin

Men’s 45 Singles
Champion- John Morales
Finalist- Stan Oley
Final Score- 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

Men’s 50 Singles
Champion- T. A. Niles
Finalist- Greg Neuhart
Final Score- 7-6, 6-4

Men’s 60 Singles
Gewan Maharaj &
Steve Shortridge
Champion- Gewan Maharaj
Finalist- Steve Shortridge
Final Score- 6-3, 6-0

Men’s 40 Doubles (Round Robin)
John Morales & Mike Baldwin
Champions- Rich Boysen & Paul Davis
Second Place- Mike Baldwin & John Morales

Men’s 50 Doubles
Champions- T. A. Niles & Greg Neuhart
Finalists- Steve Shortridge & Mike Dickens
Final Score- 6-1, 6-1

Men’s 60 Doubles
Champions- Gewan Maharaj & Mike Dickens
Finalists- Steve Shortridge & Bill Davidson
Final Score- 6-2, 6-0

Mixed Doubles
Paul Davis & Sabita Maharaj
Champions- Sabita Maharaj & Paul Davis

Finalists- Carolyn Franca & Ed Shanaphy,

Final Score- 6-1, 6-3

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