Although there is no APTA Singles National Championship, the Eastern States Singles Tournament is the de facto unofficial Singles National. Why? Simply because it is the only NRT Singles tournament on the calendar. When? November 12-13 in Greenwich, Connecticut.
When James Cogswell and Fessenden Blanchard first stepped out onto their newly-constructed wood court to hit a paddle ball, did they have partners or was it just the two of them? While we may never know the answer, what is clear is that singles has been part of the sport of platform tennis since its formation. Singles lines have been part of the paddle tennis court since the first lines were drawn, and the first National Doubles Championship in 1935 was played concurrently with the National Singles Championship.
Lost to history is why the National Singles Championships was discontinued after the 1940 season. Singles continued to be played intermittently, but it was not until the heyday of the 1980’s that singles paddle made a comeback. At that time one of the biggest changes in singles paddle was introduced: two serves and no-ad scoring. The Singles continued throughout the eighties and nineties but unfortunately, two years after being moved from its traditional sites in Connecticut, Singles Nationals were discontinued in 1999.
In 2005, then APTA President Mark Fischl was approached by a small group interested in bringing the National Singles Championships back into prominence. From these discussions, the Eastern States Singles Championships were born. This NRT has grown steadily in its four years to a 48-person draw.
Will it be easy to win this singles NRT? Not really. You will probably have to beat Mark Parons (APTA Doubles #2, Singles#1) and/or Michael Cochrane (APTA Doubles #1, Singles #2) on your way to victory. They both faced each other in 2010 and 2009 finals with Parsons prevailing both times.
SINGLES RULES: Rules for singles are the same as in doubles, with three exceptions:
- Each player receives two serves
- No-ad scoring is used throughout – receiver chooses which side to receive at 3-all
- The singles sidelines are used
Information provided by Roger Knight. To learn more about the Eastern States Singles Championships click here.