Girl_PowerWedges, upsets, 3-setters galore, an engagement and the Dad of the year – Rochester Open does not disappoint in women’s draw.

Y-chromosomes aside, there was plenty to get excited about on the X-side as well this past weekend in Rochester. One of the strongest draws in recent memory (mind you, the Shadow Lake parties tend to cloud one’s memory from time to time) brought a ton of fantastic matches to the courts this past weekend.

In the bottom half of the draw, Cleveland’s Shaheen Bhanji and Karla Kruse left an indelible mark in Region IV with a Quarter Final upset over Sandra Odenbach and Dionne Bothner. They went on to face Broderick-Feher in semi final that had more momentum shifts than Eric Miller’s trips to the Keg.

Broderick-Feher saved something like 18 match points at 0-5 and came back to win the match 2-6, 7-5, 6-2. Exclamation on the never-ever give up rule in paddle.

In the top half, Pittsburgh’s Kelly Fischer and Jessica Guyaux spent about as much time on the court over the course of the day as some players did in one service game. Challenged at best by their ‘burgh compatriots Lynn Thompson and Chrissy Johnson in the semis, Kelly and Jess lost 15 games in 4 matches and took the title at 1 and 2. Major injury and a new baby clearly has not slowed this team down!

Rounding out the final matches – Odenbach-Bother took ¼ Reprieve title with win over Lemieux-Joseph – it was a neonic affair for those who were watching. 16 Reprieve had last minute team Russell-Denefrio claiming top spot from everso-slightly-younger Lanthier-Vinson. Cleveland took Conso draw – congrats to Sadler-Laver and Baxter-Lynch with the final tiaras and kudos in Last Chance.

There’s always as much or more to get excited about off the court. Congrats to Keegan Brown who got engaged on Friday night and despite the fact that this is a women’s write-up, we must make note of the efforts of Jay Russell – who gave up his man-plans for Saturday night and ok’d his better half’s last minute trek from Toronto to help out when Carrie Ann’s partner became quite ill.

Rochester, Cleveland, Cincy, Chicago, NYC, Toronto, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, New Jersey (am I missing a city?) – fantastic turnout from across and outside of the region.

Thanks to Fritz and Sandra and the participating clubs for hosting the paddlers. The Odenbachs continue to amaze in their ability to effortlessly put on a fantastic tourney (and that’s not just my personal love of the pizza truck showing up talking!). If you want to learn from the best, get to the Rochester Open and experience their collective hospitality.

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Suzanne Lanthier