Well in advance everyone new that the 2014 American Business APTA Husband & Wife Nationals was going to be the largest event of this kind in history. With a record-setting 48 teams in the draw, there was also the hype to see Mark Parsons and wife Dana on court after Mark’s recent national title defense in Pittsburgh. They didn’t disappoint.
The caliber of the players in the draw anticipated great matches. The first upset of the tournament came to the hands of last-minute entry Lea and Leland Morris who beat #4 seed Pino-Wright in the round of 32s 6-2, 6-2. Cynthia and Ken Dardis also defeated another seeded team: Feher-Feher by 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. This score cannot be called an upset when you have former #1 player in the ranking playing with a very solid Ken Dardis as a partner. There was also another seeded team that went down before the quarters: Kelly Brown-Cobbs and Miguel Cobbs. The #6 seeds went down to another very solid team of Amy and Chris Shay. Everyone knows that Amy is one of the best female players in the country and husband Chris is also a very strong and deceiving lefty player. Their score was 6-2, 6-2 in favor of the Wilton, CT residents.
Morneau-Mornaeu (8) sort of surprised last year’s semifinalists and second seed Juliet and Drew Broderick with a convincing 6-3, 7-5 win. Chicagoans Alison and Adam Morgan (5) beat Morris-Morris by 6-4, 7-5 in one of the best matches of the tournament. Dardis-Dardis continued their winning way when they defeated last year’s semifinalists Sandra and Fritz Odenbach 6-3, 6-3. The remaining quarters was Parsons-Parsons vs Shay-Shay. This time the #1 seeds were too much for Amy and Chris. Final score was 6-2, 6-2.
Morgan-Morgan (5) brought all their racquets skills, power and confidence to the semis. They faced Morneau-Morneau (8), who made the semis without dropping a set. The pace and power of the younger of the two teams was too much for Kathleen and Jeff. The Morgans won 6-4, 6-2 to make their first Husband & Wife Mixed Nationals final. Now to wait the result of the other semis.
Dana and Mark Parsons were facing Cynthia and Ken Dardis for a spot in the final match. The first set was very close up until Mark sort of decided it was enough. Both teams were tied at 6 games all. At that point the 3-time Men’s National Champ simply took over and the Parsons won seven points in a row to take the first set 7-6. In the second set a comfortable 6-3 game them the pass to the final.
The Parsons versus the Morgans. These two were clearly the best two teams of the tournament. It was now the time to see which one was the better of the two. As American Business Brian O’Connor said: “it was fireworks from the get go.” All four players played college tennis at a very high level and were eager to play. As expected the pace of play was incredible fast with very few lobs and lots of drives coming from all four corners of the court.
Fans at the Greenwich Country Club and fans watching on the live streaming enjoyed a fantastic match. A 6-4, 7-5 score in favor of the American-Canadian duo of Dana and Mark Parsons gave the Norwalk, CT residents their first Mixed Nationals crown. An impressive feat for Dana who doesn’t play tournaments, other than with her beloved husband Mark.
Click HERE to access all draws and scores.
Click HERE to watch a replay from the final match.
Click HERE to view all 596 pictures from the event.
Featured photo courtesy of Gregory Raymond Sport Photography