When you have a tournament that has both women and men who won the Women’s and Men’s nationals everyone knows the draw is stacked. But what if only one of them makes it to the semis? Well, then you know you have the strongest field in the history of platform tennis mixed nationals!
This was the time of Roxy Enica and Juan Arraya. The #1 seeds prevailed on Sunday morning over Lauren Gebbia and Drew Broderick (2) by 6-3, 6-4 and conquered their first national championship together. This was the third time that Arraya made the final while Enica was competing in her second Mixed Nationals ever.
All seeded and placed teams made it to the Round of 16s without any hiccups. Out of the 16 teams that made it trough the first two rounds, only four sets were lost in 48 matches. The 16s were then ready and all teams met at the Greenwich Country Club for the first round of live streamed matches.
Only two of the top 8 teams lost in the Quarters but none of those losses could be considered upsets. On the show court and under the cameras of the live streaming, Lisa Rudloff and Sebastian Bredberg defeated (7) Ana Brzova and Mike Stulac by 6-3, 6-3. The other seeded team that went down was 2014 Nationals finalist Keri Flynn and Marco Grangeiro, who lost to the hands to 2014 Nationals semifinalist Martina Ondrejkova and Jeff Morneau by 6-3, 7-5. All other seeded teams made it to the Quarters losing only 18 games in all six matches combined!
Is Viki Stoklasova the best overall paddle player in the country? That was the comment that everyone heard after Viki and her partner and fiance Javier Ferrin (5) defeated Amy Hutter and Johan du Randt (4) 6-2, 6-1 in the first quarter final match of the day. In what was also sort of a surprise, the 2014 Husband/Wife National Champs Dana and Mark Parsons (3) lost in a very short match to Liz Jaffe and Max LePivert (8) 6-3, 6-1.
On the second shift of quarterfinal matches Gebbia-Broderick (2) took the show court and beat Rudloff-Bredberg by 6-4, 6-3. The last team to make the semis was the #1 seeds Enica-Arraya. Enica was facing her partner Martina Ondrejkova but that didn’t seem to distract her a bit. With the first set in favor of the #1 seeds by 6-2, Ondrekjova-Morneau took a 4-1 lead in the second. The eventual champions came back to win the set by 7-5 and the Sunday semis were all set.
Enica-Arraya (1) versus Stoklasova-Ferrin (5) was much less than what the fans expected. After a close 6-4 first set, the second was 6-2 for Enica-Arraya and left fans wanting more. Their desires were going to be fulfilled on the next court: Jaffe-LePivert and Gebbia-Broderick played for almost two hours at at very high level and entertained the crowd at GCC and on the live streaming.
Gebbia-Broderick prevailed 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in a super exciting match that had it all: blitzing, poaching, spin overheads, drives, amazing gets, great volleys and some lobs.
The New Jersey team versus the Connecticut team. First time at a mixed nationals finals for everyone except for Arraya. The Romanian-Argentinean team had made it to the final without losing a set and was the fan favorite. Roxy and Juan live within less than 15 minutes from the Greenwich Country Club and Juan had worked at GCC before.
These teams were the best two teams of the tournament. It was clear from the start that both Arraya and Broderick were trying to take control of the net and dominate with their spin shots. The difference, however, was not Juan nor Drew but Roxy, who played a very aggressive game, made a lot of volleys and never looked overwhelmed by Broderick’s lefty spin overheads. On the other hand, Lauren Gebbia did not adjust her style of play and rarely lobbed the ball, which played in Enica-Arraya’s favor.
A 6-3, 6-4 score in favor of the Rumanian-Argentinean team sealed the first nationals championship for Roxy and Juan and the first time that someone from Romania and/or Argentina wins an APTA National Championship.
Click HERE to access all draws and scores.
Click HERE to watch a replay from the final match.
Click HERE to view hundreds of pictures from the event.
Featured photo courtesy of Gregory Raymond Sport Photography