The American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) held its Region III National tournament in Greenville, Delaware, March 1-3.
Before we get to the winners and upsets, yes, there was a monumental upset, let’s quickly go over the basics.
Established in 1928, platform tennis is played on an aluminum deck about 1/3 the size of a tennis court and is surrounded by 16- gauge “chicken wire” fencing which allows play off the walls, as in racquetball and squash. And the game is not for the faint of heart, because unlike ‘traditional’ tennis, platform tennis is the only racquet sport that is played outdoors even in cold weather, and Delaware did not disappoint on the weather front. Sunday finals were played at 32° Fahrenheit with snow and rain. This is platform tennis everyone.
Now on with the important stuff:
Both men and women competed in this year’s Platform Tennis Nationals. The competition is broken down by age group based on their age as of December 31, 2019. The groups were:
Men’s 45+, and Men’s 55+
Women’s 45+ and Women’s 60+
APTA Men’s 55+ Nationals
The APTA Men’s 55+ final was played on Friday, and it ended in an upset.
The team of Flip Goodspeed and Eric Miller defeated last year’s defending champions and number one ranked team of Michael Atkinson and John Shehadi.
After losing the first set 4-6, Goodspeed/Miller rallied to win the second set in a tiebreaker 7-5. They then took care of business defeating the defending champs in the final set, 6-4.
The win was all the more surprising as Goodspeed was playing with a new partner. Goodspeed an eight-time APTA Men’s National Champion had won all his previous championships with one partner, Scott Mansager. Before this win, Goodspeed’s last championship was 10 years ago. So, congratulations to the new pairing and new champions of the 2019 APTA Men’s 55+ Region III National Champions.
Saturday and Sunday
The APTA Men’s 45+ Nationals
The Men’s 45+ didn’t wait until the finals for an upset. Saturday’s semifinals witnessed the number one seed of Scott Estes/Michael Stulac upset by the unseeded team of Peter Berka/Ben McKnight. Although unseeded Berka/McKnight came into the tournament with two seeded players. Berka is the 60th ranked player and McKnight is the 32nd ranked player.
Berka/McKnight will meet the second-seeded team of Anthony Cosimono/Jeff Hipkins in the Sunday final. The second-seeded team entered the finals with one nationally ranked player, Cosimono is ranked 57th nationally
Berka/McKnight continued their quest of taking down seeds by defeating the second-seeded team of Cosimono/Hipkins in the finals. Congratulations to Berka/McKinight.
APTA Women’s 45+ Nationals
The women’s 45+ bracket played to form. The finals consisted of the second-seeded team of Kerri Delmonico/Cindy Prendergast playing against the number one seeded team of Amy Shay/Susan Tarzian.
The second-seeded team consisted of the 11th ranked player in Delmonico and the 154th ranked player in Prendergast. Prendergast, herself is a four-time APTA Women’s National Champion, winning in 1999 with Patty Hogan and winning in 2008, 2011, and 2012 with partner Lauren Zinc. Delmonico also is a previous APTA Champion, previously winning in 2005 with Aila Main.
The number one seeded team of Shay/Tarzian consisted of eighth-ranked Shay and 44th ranked Tarzian. Neither had currently won an APTA National Championship, until Sunday.
Shay/Tarzian defeated Delmonico/ Prendergast for their first APTA Championship.
The APTA Women’s 60+ Nationals
The unseeded team of Kim Alicknavitch and Carol Taylor fought their way to the finals to meet the number one seeded team of Nancy Budde and Bobo Delany. Delany entered the finals as the only one of the four players currently ranked, holding down the 59th spot. She is also a former APTA Women’s National Champion, winning in 1989 with Sarah Krieger.
The first seeded team of Budde/Delaney finished the tournament by defeating the unseeded Alicknavitch/Taylor for the 2019 APTA Women’s National Champion.
The Platform Tennis Nationals was held in Greenville, Delaware. The weather for the weekend was Friday 35°F high, Saturday 39°F, and Sunday 30°F with a wintry mix of snow and rain, and they still played.
While the Women’s side witnessed both number one seeds culminating their weekend in victories, the Men’s APTA Nationals held a little more intrigue. In both the 45+ and the 55+ division witnessed upsets.
Congratulations to all the teams that braved the weather for their passion.