Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Record numbers. Yep, once again participation is on the rise. The Doubles 100 was no exception to this trend as we received 44 players this year in the A and B categories, surpassing last year’s total by 8.

That’s the good news. The bad news was that overall, 3 forfeits were awarded through the event. Two of those came from health issues which were very unfortunate circumstances but I can happily say that the parties involved are all okay and getting back to into their peak physical condition. The third forfeit came from a regrettable scheduling snafu where the players involved for the life of them could not find a time to get together on court. That time eventually was their undoing. It should be mentioned that when entering an event such as this, it is imperative that you make yourself available – being away for a week at a time makes it extremely difficult to coordinate calendars. But enough of that. Let’s cover the matches that were played:

B Draw: Going in as the top seeds were 2011 B draw winners and 2012 finalists Mike Petix and John Chouinard. An effective duo of Mike’s speed and John’s ball placement, they got passed a pair of Toms (in McCarthy and MacFarlane) in their first match 3-1 to reach the quarter finals against Drew Creamer and Rich Stimson. This team would have a similar tactical modus operandi as Petix / Chouinard, so my prediction was for a close result and if I was hung from my toenails over a roasting fire to make me a pick a winner, I would have begged for mercy and then leant slightly in favor of Mike and John. How wrong I would have been. I’m not sure what happened, but not much time expired between me watching them serve the first ball of the first game and then seeing Rich climb the stairs to my office to report their 3-0 victory. I guess they either played extremely well, their opponents had an off day, or a combination of the two.

Meeting them in the final was my third seeded team of Joe Moran and Ken Katz. A 3-1 win in their first round over Ryan Bendzinski and Dan Follis (2 of those games went to tie-break) took them into semi final to tackle the second seeded Shail Arora and Bob Garvey. Shail and Bob are no strangers to success as they have won the Doubles Select tournament together in 2011 and have proven to complement each other well. Lamentably, during the third game of this match where the score was tied at 1-1 and it was building into something epic, Shail injured his knee moving into the front corner and the match had to be called. There was no way he could continue, and nor could they pick up the match at a later date – the healing would take too long. It’s not the tastiest way to win, and maybe they would have anyway, but Joe and Ken moved on to the final.  

Ken Katz, Joe Moran, Rich Stimson, Drew Creamer

Joe and Ken’s tactic was clearly to pummel Drew as much as possible. But keeping it away from Rich was harder done than said. Rich covered the large court to excess – now, that’s not to say Drew didn’t do his part. Drew was certainly the steady rock he needed to be. Creamer / Stimson took the first 2 games 15-13, 15-12. For the third, the onslaught towards Drew increased and even the “speedy” Stimson couldn’t stop the avalanche of balls directed to his partner. Joe and Ken wrestled the momentum away, won the third 15-8 and looked like they were going to take it to a 5th game with a 13-8 lead in the 4th. But cue the comeback. Creamer / Stimson steadied the ship and one rally at a time tied it up to 13-all for a 5 point tie-break. Drew’s serve late in the game pushed his team to the finish line taking the 4th 18-15 and the 3-1 victory.

A Draw: Peter Logan and Patrick Petz hooked up together for the 5th straight year, looking to win a second doubles 100 title (something they achieved in 2011), and to avenge last year’s 5-set finals loss to Mike Counsman and Stu Boynton. Their path to the final proved they deserved the top seeding I handed then, winning both matches 3-0 to get there. Awaiting them were 2 new members that had never reached the final of this event before: Eric Green and John Dunwoody. Their path was a little rockier than Patrick and Pete’s. A 3-1 win in match one over John Berg and Bill Oddo put them in the semi final where they faced Mike Counsman and Bowden Brown. Just like Mike, Bowden has also experienced success in the doubles 100 when he won in 2008 and in 2010 with then partner Bob Thibodeau. (Bob, I believe, was spending some time in Florida for some reason during this event. Couldn’t possibly be because of the weather…). For 3 games, the semi was a tight affair. John and Eric had a 2-1 lead after losing the first 12-15, then taking the second with the same score line and pinching the third 17-14. The 4th game went completely against the grain of the match as the steamroller came out and flattened Mike (it was a big steamroller) and Bowden 15-3. The final was almost a carbon copy.

Once again, if I was strung up and forced to make a prediction, I would have been wrong. Obviously, I placed Petz / Logan as the number one seeds for a reason. I thought they would win. They almost did. John and Eric won the first two games in very close contests. 15-12 and 18-16. It could have been a 3-0 whitewash for the pair, but at 13-all in the third game, with a 5-point tie-break, they only managed to take on more point and lost it 18-14. Had the momentum changed? Could Pete and Patrick take the ball and run with it? Short answer – no. Eric and John dominated the 4th game and shut down any chance of a comeback. The 15-8 win gave them both their first doubles 100 title. Everybody involved agreed it was a great, enjoyable match – just what we all love to hear.

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