This time around the weather cooperated much more than last year and there was no snow storm. However, with temperatures in single digits most of the top Region 2 players, including the current two-time national champs, made the drive up to Longmeadow, Mass., and played in the 2015 Western New England. Johan Du Randt and Jeff Morneau came out victorious and took home the coolest tournament trophy ever: Beats wireless headphones.
Johan Du Rant and Mark Parsons won the tournament last season and were back for more. This year they decided to come back and play with different partners. Du Randt played with tournament director Jeff Morneau and Parsons with his long time friend and half-marathon training buddy Brian O’Connor.
Du Randt-Morneau had a very tough match in the quarters when they played Michael Montalbano and DJ Geatz. Montalbano is probably the owner of the second best two-handed backhand in the game and the owner of the best forehand volley in the game. A 7-5, 7-6 win gave them their tickets to the semis to face Parsons-O’Connor.
On the other side of the draw Anton Mavrin and Patricio Misitrano were playing versus Martin Bostrom and Sebastian Bredberg after their win over paddleplayers Mikk Irdoja and Mark Innes by 6-4, 7-5. As the weather continued to get colder thorough the day, Mavrin-Misitrano also defeated Bredberg-Bostrom with identical scores.
The match that everyone was expecting was the semis between Du Randt-Morneau and Parsons-O’Connor. Unfortunately, it was a short match. The eventual champions took care of business with a 6-2, 6-0 win. In the last game of the match Morneau displayed great athleticism by chasing an almost impossible shot in the back court. He was overheard saying: “I’m keeping that one for when I’m really old!” Click HERE to take a look at this AMAZING video.
The final match was extremely entertaining with lots of action and fun points. After facing a match point at 4-5 in the third, Du Randt-Morneau came back and pulled off the win by 6-4, 2-6, 7-5. That was the end to a great tournament that has definitely become one of the best kept secrets in paddle.
A video of the final match will soon be released for whoever has one hour and forty minutes of free time and wants to watch four guys playing paddle when is 7 degrees outside.