There is no question that the level of play in the men’s field is as high as it has ever been. Even recent Hall Of Fame inductee David Ohlmuller commented it during his induction on Friday night. However, the top 4 teams in the APTA Ranking made it to the semis to be played this morning.
Only one major upset occurred yesterday as 7 out of the top 8 seeds made it to the quarte finals. Mike Marino and Dane Schmidgall were the only team not making it to the quarters when they lost to Jeronie Barnes and Rick Witsken in the round of 32s by 2-6, 7-6, 6-2.
The match of the day was, without question, the quarter finals between Arraya-Jonason vs Eberly-Uihlein. Where should we start here? The points were incredible and both teams displayed and amazing level from beginning to end. Eberly-Uihlein took the first set by a somehow easy 6-3. In the second Arraya-Jonason leveled things by winning the set by 6-4. In the third set, the Chicago team took an early lead and were 3-0 up when the #3 seeds seemed to wake up and later tied at 3. Lots of breaks until the deciding tie breaker while more than 200 fans were watching. Arraya-Jonason had two match points but couldn’t convert, Eberly-Uihlein had another one and same thing, couldn’t convert. Then Uihlein serves to Jonason at 7-8 and his serve is called out. That is when things got ugly. All players arguing about if the ball was in or out while the umpire changed his mind twice: first the match was over, then Uihlein was given the point, and later he called it a let.
The match continued. Arraya-Jonason ended winning 11-9 in the third set tie breaker and secured their pass to the semis. The lack of professional umpires and the “No, I don’t want to” response that Mark Fischl, head of umpires, received from over 30 male and females players when he asked if they were willing to umpire matches makes it very difficult for the APTA in these situations. Something must be done and everyone agrees here. The lack of available umpires and the umpires’ lack of willingness to call multiple foot faults is simply amazing. Well, that is a topic for another article…
The remaining quarters were not as exciting, specially the match between defending champs Drew Broderick and Chris Gambino. They defeated Ben McKnight and Pete Rose by 6-1, 6-3. When asked after the match, Pete Rose confessed that him and his partner were both bore out of their minds while playing that match. That is what Broderick-Gambino would do to you. They simply don’t make mistakes, make all the right decisions and, yesterday, looked strong as a rock.
Undefeated in their fifth tournament playing together and #1 seed, Mark Parsons and Johan du Randt appeared not to sweat at all in their 5 matches that took them to get to the semis. Parsons’ backhand exploded when he needed it and du Randt seems to play just taking it easy on his opponents while being in absolut control of what is going on on the court. In the quarters they beat the unseeded team of Barnes-Witsken by 6-2, 6-0. Today they will face Arraya-Jonason and should be challenged to play their best.
The last quarters was #4 Bancila-Porter vs #5 DeRose-Lubow. A 7-6, 6-2 victory by the #5 seeds and #4 in the ranking (weird, right?) gives this always fun to watch team a chance to play versus their friend Drew in the semis. Can DeRose-Lubow beat the defending champs? If the tempo of the match is determined by Broderick-Gambino, chances are that they will have a very tough time to come out on top. We’ll see. To check all scores from yesterday click HERE.