The Chicago Charities is always the strongest tournament of the season. That is, of course, not including the end of the year Nationals. Is that the case this year? That is up for debate. Is Chicago still the strongest paddle area in the country? That question could be answered after this weekend. What we know is that without the many top East Coast players and teams, the field in Chicago would have been much weaker.
This year in Chicago there will be A LOT of new teams. With seven out of the sixteen seeded teams without an official ranking, the field is wide open. Just to give everyone an idea of how wild this draw could be, current APTA’s #1 Mike Cochrane and Scott Estes are playing with Jared Palmer and Brian Uihlein respectively. Cochrane-Palmer are the #12 seeds while Estes-Uhilein are #8.
Defending Champions Juan Arraya and Alex Bancila will be looking to repeat while Drew Broderick and Chris Gambino will strive to continue with their hot streak. Not to forget are the 2011 National Champions Mark Parsons and Mike Stulac. Not too long ago they won at the biggest stage and, funny enough, it was here in Chicago. Peter Berka and Drew Eberly will benefit from having the home crowd behind them and are serious contenders to win it all.
Are the top four teams going to make it to the semis. Possibly. Can they go down in the quarters? Definitely. The table is now serve and time to play paddle! For complete details and updated scores you can follow the action at the Chicago Charities online-scoring site.