Wednesday, May 2, 2012

West Takes Back Florida Cup

Notes: See below for results (Data compiled by Mark Taylor). Click here for more pics.

FL Cup in 2008
Sometimes expectations get in the way; don’t they? Well, recently I got a call to represent the West in the 9th Annual Florida Cup, a competitive event that theoretically pits the best of Florida’s West Coast players against the best of the East Coast. Having had a terrific experience representing the West back in 2008, I welcomed the opportunity to join the fray again.

Match Board in 2008
Things turned out to be a little different this time around. In ’08, I couldn’t speak highly enough of the event. From welcome to trophy presentation, it was a class event all the way. Case in point, all the matches were posted for players and spectators to view and players’ names were on cards on the courts where they played. Nice!

This time around, I didn’t know that my opponent wasn’t going to show until half an hour past my start time. I later spoke with him and he said that he had informed officials that he wouldn’t be able to attend since early that morning. And, I had to do research to find out who was playing whom when the matches had gotten underway. Needless to say I wasn’t too thrilled when the few spectators who had come to see me play had to settle for…much better players! LOL

Mike Manzella & Larry Turville
 I could go on, but nuff said. I’d rather talk about the fine job that Mike Manzella, director of tennis at the Waldorf, and his staff did in preparing the courts, and in handling a difficult situation, to include rain on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The Naples Grande at the Waldorf Astoria was a nice venue for the event, offering ample viewing for spectators and comfortable conditions for players.

Joe Rasgado
I could talk about the number of matches that were not played this year in contrast to ’08, but I’d rather talk about the tennis that was played. For example, the tough three-setter that David Vaughan (West) and Joe Rasgado played in the midday heat on Saturday in the 55s Division. 

David Vaughan
Joe took the first set 7-6, but David bounced back to take the second 6-4. It was all square at 2-2 when David’s empty light came on. He battled gamely the rest of the way, but fell 6-3 in the third. Now that’s what the Florida Cup is all about: battling in the sun, through the pain to earn a point for your team. And there were other such scuffles...

Ok, I said I wouldn’t but I can’t help it. In 2008 there were just three matches/points won by default. In this year’s contest, 15 points, 15 POINTS were gained through default! That’s a whopping 30% of the matches. Wow! I’m guessing that the rain had something to do with that number, but the East had difficulty fielding a team. Not a single match was played in the 80s (no East players), and only one player showed for the East in the 50s.

Jamie Feagan & Wife
In 2011, the number of defaults was just about half (8 matches) the number we had this year. The year before, there was 1 defaulted match. I'm not liking the trend folks. I suppose the good news for the West is, that of the 35 matches that were actually played, we won 20 of them. I guess we don’t need an asterisk next to the 34-16 victory after all.

Gary Clermont in '08 FL Cup
Despite the victory, I was somewhat saddened leaving the 2012 Florida Cup. An event that had been one of the highlights of my Florida tennis experience appeared to be singing its swansong. Is there a way to bring the shine back to the Cup, or is it tarnished beyond refurbishing? Is the Cup down 0-5, 0-40 in the third, and throwing in the towel, or is it ready to comeback like I managed to do against Gary Clermont in ’08? Sorry Gary had to sneak that in there (a wink & a smile).

I am convinced that I am not the only one who would like to see the event recover its cachet and relevance among Florida’s best players east and west. How about it USTA FL? Can some life be breathed into this potential tradition? Sure hope so! Thanks to the Waldorf's staff for hosting, and to Larry Turville for organizing. It's a tough job and glad somebody took it. I'm willing to get on board to assist with organizing next year if necessary. Game, set, match...T A

Nuggets from the event as shared by Mark Taylor, former Cup organizer:
  •  West wins for the 8th time in 9 attempts (34-16 largest margin of victory for the West)
  • Waldorf-Astoria Resort hosts Cup for the 1st time, city of Naples hosts Cup for the 7th time overall
  • West won doubles competition for the first time ever (6-4)
  • Teams combined to field 16 players who were first time Cup participants
  • West won the Sunday singles matches 17-3 (Lake, Bouquin, Carter only East victories)
  • Cup matches return to East coast in 2013 (PGA National, host facility Palm Beach Gardens)

The Results
35s (East won 3-2)
Jonathan Goldfarb
Diego Brunicardi (E) def. Jamie Feagan (W) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Jonathan Goldfarb (E) def. David Robbins (W) 6-0, 6-0
Goldfarb/Brunicardi (E) def. Feagan/Robbins (W) 6-2, 6-4
West wins 2 singles matches via default

Andy Lake
40s (East won 4-1)
Andy Lake (E) def. Rhett Rollyson (W) 7-5, 6-4
Todd Schlorf (E) def. Mark Palus (W) 6-3, 6-3
Lake/Schlorf (E) def. Rollyson/Palus (W) 6-2, 4-6, 10-2
Andy Lake (E) def. Mark Palus (W) 6-2, 7-6
Rhett Rollyson (W) def. Todd Schlorf (E) 6-1, 6-4

45s (East Won 3-2)
Bob Wuhrman (E) def. Cliff Coleman (W) 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
Lee Rosenthal (E) def. John Jerome (W) 6-2, 6-1
Wuhrman/Rosenthal (E) def. Coleman/Jerome (W) 6-4, 6-4
Cliff Coleman (W) def. Lee Rosenthal (E) 6-4, 6-4
John Jerome (W) def. Bob Wuhrman (E) 6-1, 6-3

Roberto Saad 
50s (West won 5-0)
Roberto Saad (W) def. Bob Johnson (E) 6-1, 6-3
TA Niles (W) def. Bob Johnson (E) 6-2, 6-4
West wins 2 singles matches and doubles match via default

55's (West won 4-1)
Warren Eber- West 55s Captain
Joe Rasgado (E) def. David Vaughn (W) 7-6, 4-6, 6-3
Warren Eber (W) def. Bill Forray (E) 6-4, 6-2
Peter Redpath (W) def. Bill Forray (E) 7-5, 2-6, 2-1 ret.
Warren Eber (W) def. Jared Chase (E) 6-2, 6-0
West wins doubles match via default
Larry Turville- Event Organizer
& West 60s Captain
60s (West won 3-2)
Larry Turville (W) def. Joe Bouquin (E) 6-2, 6-2
Jeff Feldman (E) def. Phil Landauer (W) 7-6, 4-6, 6-3
Turville/Landauer (W) def. Bouquin/Feldman (E) 8-2 (pro set)
Joe Bouquin (E) def. Steve Shortridge (W) 6-1, 6-0
Larry Turville (W) def. Jeff Feldman (E) 6-1, 6-0

65s (West won 5-0)
Larry Albritton
Larry Albritton (W) def. Allan Brown (E) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Pedro Mena (W) def. Bob Childers (E) 6-3, 6-1
Larry Albritton/Mike Melnick (W) def. Bob Childers/Allan Brown (E) 3-2 ret.
West wins 2 singles matches via default

70s (East won 3-2)
Fred Drilling
Fred Drilling (W) def. Alan Carter (E) 1-6, 7-6, 6-1
Rudy Hernando (E) def. Joe Bachmann (W) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
Hernando/Carter (E) def. Fred Farzanegan/Drilling (W) 8-5 (pro set)
Alan Carter (E) def. Fred Farzanegan (W) 6-3, 6-2
Fred Drilling (W) def. Rudy Hernando (E) 6-1, 6-2

75s (West won 5-0)
Gordon Hammes
Elmer Mangrum (W) def. Mike Logan (E) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
Gordon Hammes (W) def. Al Cohen (E) 6-2, 6-2
Gordon Hammes (W) def. Mike Logan (E) 6-0, 6-1
West wins 1 singles match and doubles match via default

80s (West won 5-0)
West wins 5 matches via default

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