Last Saturday, the FCPTL concluded its 2011-2012 season with the Paul Fowler Invitational Tournament, the single largest one-day platform tennis tournament in the nation. A 16-team tournament is held for each of the 7 divisions, meaning that 112 teams or 224 players compete at fourteen clubs in the county for individual division titles.
Beyond the main draw, a consolation and two reprieve draws ensure that half the field is playing for a title at the end of the day. Of course, it wouldn’t be a paddle tournament without food and kegs and over 100 spectators journeyed to The Country Club of New Canaan to enjoy the weather and refreshments as they watched the main draw finals.
There were several notable highlights from the tournament. In Division 1, Ken Dardis and Max LePivert of the Stanwich Club successfully defended their title from last year against Bryan Kelley and David Gedney from Wee Burn CC. Ken Dardis was clearly trying to keep pace with his wife Cynthia who happened to win the Short Hills Invitational with Amy Shay on the same day. However, a three-peat is unlikely as it has been reported that LePivert will be taking a position at a club in NY next season.
In Division 2, the #1 seeds Faycal Rhalzi and Mike Bennett of division winner Middlesex were upended by the unseeded team of Pete Oman and Reed Hagmann of Wilton Y in a three-set match that had huge swings in momentum. With a tennis professional and 3 former college tennis players on the court, the match featured great shot-making and athleticism as seen in this video.
Finally, in Division 4, Wilton Y showed why they were the dominant team of that division. During the regular season, Wilton Y had the best overall record in the FCPTL at 42-2. In the tournament, Wilton Y made a clean sweep of all 4 brackets.
Below is the winner and finalists for each of the 7 divisions. In addition, the complete list of winners and finalists in the consolation, main reprieve and consolation reprieve (aka The Last Chance Draw) can be find here.
Dardis-LePivert (Stanwich Club) d. D. Gedney-Kelley (Wee Burn CC)
Oman-Hagmann (Wilton YMCA) d. Rhazali-Bennett (Middlesex Club)
Wheeler-Molloy (CC of Darien) d. Hutchins-Essex (New Canaan Field Club)
Zahler-Wisnieski (Wilton YMCA) d. Crowley/Toft-Nielsen (New Canaan Town)
Sachs-Salerno (Italian Center of Stamford) d. Tanacea-Bonafide (Wilton YMCA)
Rzepecki-Weisser (Rowayton Paddle Club) d. Perkins-Little (Darien Town)
Cortell-Lasicki (Italian Center of Stamford) d. Morgan-McConnaughy (Middlesex Club)