American Platform Tennis Association Women’s & Men’s National Championships Region IV
Region IV Women’s and Men’s Platform Tennis National Championships were held this weekend in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
The Women’s final pitted the number three seeded team against the number two seeded team, more on that in a second.
The number one team was Florentina Hanisch and Annica van Storrenburg. Hanisch/Storrenburg were both ranked as the number one player in addition to being the number one ranked team. They showed why in four matches, not dropping a set in any match. The closest they came to adversity was in the quarterfinals when they won their first set in a tiebreaker 7-5 but throttled their opponent in the second set 6-1.
That is until they reached the semifinal and the third-ranked team of Liz Cruz and Gabriela Niculescu. Although ranked third in the tournament, they are ranked 11th nationally. Cruz is the third-ranked player and a past APTA Women’s National Champion having won in 2015 with Ana Brzova. Cruz is also a Childress Cup winner, in 2016-2017, with then partner Roxy Erica.
Niculescu herself is a two-time APTA Women’s National Champion winning in 2016 with Martina Ondrejkova and is the returning champion with partner Cruz.
Cruz/Niculescu dominated the number one seed, Hanisch/Storrenburg in the semi-finals with a score of 6-1,6-2.
They will seek to defend their championship from last year when they play the number two ranked team of Laura Berendt and Roxy Erica.
Berendt/Erica both share the designation as the sixth-ranked player. Erica, is a past Childress Cup winner, having won in 2016-2017 with now opponent Cruz.
The final held all the suspense one would expect from having past Childress Champions on both sides of the net. The second-seeded team of Berendt/Erica won the first set 2-6. They then lost the last two sets to the third-seeded Cruz/Niculescu 6-4, 6-3.
Congratulations to back-to-back APTA PNC 2019 National Champions Liz Cruz and Gabriela Niculescu.
The pairing for the men’s final held to form. The number one seeded team of John Hughes and Mark Powers will seek back-to-back National Championships against the second-seeded team of Juan Arraya and Mark Parsons.
Hughes is the number one ranked player while his partner is the third-ranked player. Together there are not only the defending APTA National Champions but also the Blanchard Cup winners for 2017-2018.
The second-seeded team consists of Arraya, who shares the designation of the number one ranked player with opponent Hughes. Arraya himself is a two-time Blanchard Cup winner, having won in 2015-2016, with then partner Max Le Pivert and in 2018-2019 with current partner Parsons.
Parsons ranked fifth nationally is a three-time APTA Men’s National Champion. He previously won the title in 2011 with Mike Stulac, then repeated in 2013 and 2014 with Johan Du Randt.
The men’s final was a battle to the end. The teams split the first two sets with the team of Arraya/Parsons winning the first set 6-3. They dropped the second set to the number one team of Hughes/Powers in a tiebreaker 5-7. The third and final set proved to be a battle of the Titans going to a tiebreaker that was eventually won by the team of Arraya/Parsons 7-5.
Congratulations to four-time Men’s APTA National Champion Mark Parsons and his teammate Juan Arraya.
Blanchard Cup and Childress Cup
The Blanchard Cup and Childress Cup’s are part of the platform tennis Grand Prix Series. The Grand Prix Series, for platform tennis, is like the Grand Slams in tennis or the Majors in golf. The Blanchard is presented to the men’s team who do well in the series. The Childress Cup is for the women’s team who excels in the Grand Prix.
Platform Tennis Viking President’s Cup
The President’s Cup was established in 1978 to create national competition for amateur paddlers. Each Region holds its own qualifying tournament to determine which four teams from its Region would be sent to the President’s Cup. Play will consist of a round robin, with all seven regions playing each other.
The President’s Cups are held at the site of the Nationals, the day before the start of the tournaments.
Women’s Viking President’s Cup
In the women’s Viking President’s Cup, the players from Region 2 finished with the most points. Players in Region 3 and 5 tied for second most points.
Men’s Viking President’s Cup
The Men’s Viking President’s Cup played out for first place, with the teams from Pool A with the most points, playing against the teams from Pool B.
The teams from Pool A, Region 2 and Region 1 emerged victorious in the semifinals to play one another. The players on the team from Region 2 defeated Region 1.
Congratulations to the players from Region 2 on their victory.