Monday, March 21, 2011


Thankfully – this time – I didn’t go by my gut feeling and cancel this event. By the time the registration deadline came around I only had 16 players. The minimum. Last time I went ahead in this situation, 3 players pulled out the day of the event and I had to cancel everything! This time the opposite happened. Not only did I receive 2 more entries the next day, I received another 2 entries 30 minutes before the event started! Luckily it wasn’t too difficult to rearrange the draw, and we ended up with a healthy 20 participants.

I split this motley-crew into 4 groups of 5 players. Then assigned handicaps for each match (each match being one game to 15). The utopian scenario is to assign the handicap so every match ends up 15-14. The sudden-death 14-all rally is always exciting to watch especially when you have an underdog on court – the pressure really mounts for the better player. The top ranked player in 3 of the groups all lost one game, the fourth - Anthony Fracchia – swept the table. Overall, only 3 players failed to win a game, and only 2 players won all four games in their respective groups. The top two players in each group advanced to the knock-out 8-man final.

The other 4-game group winner was Jason Trombley. No one was sure what had inspired Jason on this particular evening, or where he stole that forehand swing from, and calls for drug testing were heard amongst the crowd, but something clicked for him as he systematically destroyed all of his group opponents. His first round finals match was against Sante Fratarcangeli. Sante took a 2 point handicap. He needed 3. Jason won 15-14. He then took on Anthony in the semi final with a 9 point advantage. Now, I am not suggesting the outcome would have been different, but Jason did ‘tweak’ his ankle in this game. As we were watching it happen, it looked pretty innocuous, just your run-of-the-mill ankle sprain that you walk off, but as you can see by the photo, the ‘tweak’ was rather severe. Jason lost 15-13, and then still played his 3rd and 4th play-off – which he won over Bruce VandeVusse 15-10. As of this morning, Jason said it may be broken which makes his effort even more impressive. We hope his injury is not as bad as it appears but he may be on the sidelines for a while.

Anthony’s opponent in the final was Matt DiDio. [The two are pictured left] It just so turned out that Matt’s finals opponents were the same standard as himself so he started each game at 0-0. It’s a different game when playing someone of your own level than playing someone a couple of levels below. It’s mentally easier since the pressure to win isn’t as great, but physically tougher. The Fracchia – DiDio final also started at 0-0. When it finished, Matt wished he had started with 5. Anthony took the match 15-10, a well deserved, undefeated performance. Congratulations, Anthony!

The motley crew!

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