If Rob Coster defined last year’s Boston National Open as the best ever, he can certainly use that definition one more time. He should also add the following: without a doubt the strongest tournament of the season outside Nationals.
Why was Boston the strongest tourney of the year? When you have David Caldwell and Blake Cordish facing match points in the consolation draw while trying to avoid going to the Last Chance; and Albrikes-Morneau playing against Cochrane-Palmer in the Round of 16s final, that should give you a hint. Want more? DuRandt-Porter went to three sets in the second round while Easterbrook-Jonason won 7-6 in the third set their round of 16s match.
Yesterday, the hotests players in the game got together and participated in an amazing display of athleticism and skill. The wows and ahhs were a constant at the Weston Golf Club, specially during semifinals play. National Champs Mark Parsons and Mike Stulac where battling against defending champs Steve Derose and Jon Lubow while Johan DuRandt and Matt Porter were facing Chicago’s Mike Marino and Dane Schmidgall.
In the first semis Durandt-Porter played against one of the best teams of the season. Marino and Schmidgall had one game plan and sticked to it to a T. Lobs, lobs, and more lobs. Two things kept them in the match and forced the third set. Their incredible patient and consistency and their opponents errors. In the end it was a 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 win for the home team.
Parsons-Stulac had a relatively easy way into the semis with a win by injury default in the quarters versus the Power brothers. Leo pulled his calf early in the first set. In the semis they beat Derose-Lubow in a very entertaining match. They started 0-4 in the first set but ended winning 7-5. With Parsons playing with a dislocated left shoulder, things did not look good for them after they lost the second set. However, their will end experience were the main factors that helped them secure a spot in the final.
The final could not have been any better. National champs versus runners-up. This was also the rematch from the Sound Shore Invitational when Matt and Johan won 6-2, 4-6, 6-0. The first set went to Parsons-Stulac by 6-3. The second and third sets went to a tie-breaker and kept everyone enjoying the best two teams in the country fighting until the end. The 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 score shows how close this match was. Was this the preview of what will happen in Long Island? We will find out soon.