Submitted by Andy Metzler
The revamped Kansas City Open featured some of the nations top players this year – and KC players turned out to get a lesson, both in the clinics and in the tournament!
The Friday night festivities started just as the rains cleared, with over 50 paddlers turning out for both a junior and adult clinic. Tourney players were excited to learn that they were playing not only for pride, but for money this year! Some sweet swag was handed out, such as Nike sweatpants, Viking beanies, Ivy Funds water bottles and beer…lots of beer of course.
The tournament moved along quickly and the quarters featured showdowns between top KC and St. Louis teams versus the top national teams. After taking out giant killers Smith/Kanaga, Battle/Brundige had high hopes of getting a game, but fell short against DeRose/LeFevre. Abreu/Helgeson won after a tight first set against the All-Offense team of Cochrane and Ward.
Cochrane has apparently been watching tapes of Durant/Parsons because multiple times, he shoved his partner off the court to hit overheads. But the other quarters featured some great paddle with both matches going to third sets. In the end, Vidal/Kraft lobbed the bejesus out of the all tennis combo of Metzler/Smith and wore them down and Kowalik/Frisch pulled through against St Louis’s last hope Feder/Shoff.
All attention then turned to an epic Saturday night party at Gus Zinn’s, which featured Ryan Metzler handing out countless shots to party attendees before an early exit, a dance off between Brett Gamso and Gus’s kids, and countless drinks being spilled on their brand new floor…but the highlight of the night belonged to paddle protégée Otto Zinn, Gus’s 12 year old son, who defeated ping pong veteran Jeff Crowe 3 straight sets for $80 to the delight of the rowdy crowds. Jeff Crowe has not been heard from since.
Sunday morning came and while most of the teams were still drunk, the semifinals were over before you could say “thank you Gus”. KC teams had high hopes, but the paddle experience of the 1 & 2 seeds proved too much.
In an exciting three set final, Kraft/Vidal gave DeRose/LeFevre a run for their money…or our money to be more specific, but DeRose/LeFevre pulled it out and can now proudly say their names are etched on the trophy, but more importantly, included in the lore and legend of the KC Open next to such paddle icons as Mark Parsons, Chris Gambino, Mike Cochrane and Kevin Connor.
Click HERE to access Main Draw results.