What a blizzard! Overcast, 40 degrees and no wind. That’s what some call perfect paddle weather. The reality is that perfect paddle weather doesn’t exist. Perfect paddle weather is whatever the weather is that day: a blizzard, overcast, rain, or 85 degrees in the middle of July. Yesterday the Western New England was played with temperatures in the teens but it felt like 0 degrees. It didn’t matter, conditions were the same for everyone and the tournament got played.
When it came down to the actual paddle part, the day started cold with a steady snow but the heaters were able to keep up. Towards the afternoon, the amount of snow coming down was too much for most of the heaters. Who won? Well, Du Randt-Parsons were in the draw, so no surprise here. However, a big HOWEVER, they were pushed hard on both the semis and final and beat Hiscox-Morneau 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-3 and Grangeiro-Wilkinson 6-4, 3-4, 6-4 respectively.
On their way to the semis, there was only a minor upset when Todd Hiscox and Jeff Morneau (“the most underrated paddle player in the country,” as defined by Paddletimes start writer and Main Draw second rounder David Lee) beat #4 seed Bostrom-LePivert in the quarters. The Top 3 seeds Du Randt-Parsons, Grangeiro-Wilkinson and Mavrin-Misitrano only lost 18 games (combined) to get to the semis, so no surprises here.
The first semis was the eventual champs vs the home boy Morneau and Hiscox. The National Champs came back from 3 set points in the first set to win 7-5. The second ended in a close tie breaker with lots of mistakes from all sides of the court. Morneau seemed to be the one making the least mistakes. He later confessed that he super short backswing kind of helps in with wet conditions.
The second semis featured the top Greenburgh players who were fighting for a spot in the final and bragging rights. A close 7-6 (4) for Mavrin-Misitrano showed both teams exchanging mistakes and unbelievable gets. In the second set, the Brazilian-English duo took an early lead of 5-0 that was too much for Mavrin-Misitrano. An attempt of a come back left them at 5-2 with chances to 5-3 but it was a little too late and they were now at one set all. A 6-3 scores in the third gave the #2 seeds their pass to the final.
The third set was was more up and down, more and more mistakes, and switching paddles on change overs. Yes, in the change over all players would come into the hut to get their dry paddles left by the fireplace as all paddle were icing within minutes. APTA President Rob Coster was very diligent by making sure all paddles were dry in time for the next switch (Mr. President made quite the trip yesterday: Madison, CT to New Jersey for the League Classic, to Longmeadow, MA to then drive back to Madison… WOW!). A 6-3 score with some steady play by Wilkinson and some great gets and volleys by Grangeiro were too much for their opponents.
Now onto the finals. The spectators inside and outside of the hut could not see the ball and were having a hard time seeing what was going on on the court. The smoke prevented them from seeing the ball. Players had the same problem. At this time the temperature felt like 0 degrees. 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 was the final a score for Du Randt-Parsons. Another title but not so easy this time. Players seem to be catching up.
For full scores, click HERE. Pictures and videos to come. Stay tuned.
Photos courtesy of Marco Grangeiro and @PTPlayer_com