Doten and Keane, DeRose-Lubow Offer No Charity in Chicago

Pictured above left: Brian Heil serves with Denny English at the net. Pictured above right: Jon Lubow waits at net as Steve DeRose serves Above left: Brian Heil serves with Denny English at the net. Above right: Jon Lubow waits at net as Steve DeRose serves Chicago Charities winners Susie Keane and Mary Doten Chicago Charities winners Susie Keane and Mary Doten

Every year, nearly all of the nation’s top players converge in Chicago for this early-season tournament. As the second highest-ranked tournament of the year (next to the APTA National Championships), players wishing to attain a high rank see the Charities as a must fight for.

The 36-year history of the Charities is one of great generosity. This year’s charitable recipient is JDRF – an organization committed to Type 1 Diabetes research.

The Charities is the first major tournament of the season and that means that seedings are based on ranking points earned the previous year. In the summer off-season, teams switch around and new ones form. What does this mean? It means that the Charities is the new status quo for how the new teams will be judged for the rest of the season. If you want to prove yourself, perform well in Chicago.

With below-seasonal average temperatures, mixed with occasional light rain, the Charities weekend offered challenging paddle at the highest levels.

Women’s: The seeded women’s teams were:
1. Delaney – Mangan
2. Delmonico – Main
3. Dardis – Shay
4. Prendergast – Sheldon
5. Doten-Keane
6. Ohlmuller – Prop
7. Manley – VanCalcar
8. Cottingham – Hayward

While the top-seeded teams had been long-standing partners, the 4th, 6th and 8th-seeded teams comprised new team pairings.

The deep women’s field was absent of arguably the two most dominating women on the tour – Lauren Zink (2008 National Champion who normally plays with Cindy Prendergast) and Laura
Parsons (the 2008 National’s Finalist with Annica van Starrenburg).

With the exception of a tight three-setter where 5th-seeded Doten-Keane defeated Frei-Sierks, the top eight seeds advanced to the quarter-finals without dropping a set.

It’s hard to claim any quarter-final upsets with a field so deep, but technically speaking, the Doten-Keane victory over third-seed Dardis-Shay and the elimination of the fourth-seeded Prendergast-Sheldon by sixth-seeded Ohlmuller and Prop had to be labeled as such.

In the women’s semi-finals, Doten and Keane defeated the second seeded Delmonico-Main. Delaney-Mangan arrived at the finals by besting the new team of Ohlmuller-Prop

A hard-fought women’s final saw the 4-time National Champions Mary Doten and Susie Keane edging out the topseeded Bobo Delaney and Tonia Mangan 6-7, 6-1, 6-3.

Winners in other draws:
Quarter Reprieve: Dardis-Shay
16 Reprieve: Rohrbach-VanStarrenburg
2nd Round Cons.: Budde-Welsher
2nd Round Consolation Reprieve: Broccolo-McGuire
1st Round Consolation: Taylor-Vinson
1st Round Cons. Rep.: Pelletier-Stevens

The men’s 2008 Charities was equally as thrilling as the women’s event – and with more upsets along the way.

Men’s: Based on rankings from last season, the top-seeded teams were dictated. Notably absent in men’s event was the respected team of Mike Cochrane/Scott Estes. Also, Flip Goodspeed’s absence presented Scott Mansager the opportunity to play with fellow Chicagoan Bill Fiedler.

The top-seeded teams for the men’s event were:
1. Keevins – Uihlein
2. Caldwell – Cordish
3. Gambino – Ohlmuller
4. Marino • Stulac
S. Fiedler – Mansager
6. Broderick – Moore
7. Bondurant – Johnson
8. English – Heil

With a pulled muscle, the second seeded team of David Caldwell and Blake Cordish had to pull out in their first match of the day. This left the eighth-seeded team the opportunity to capitalize by following the top-seeded team’s draw.

On the other half of the draw, two upsets occured in the round-of-16: Keevins-Uihlein (#1) fell to Berka-Eberly (#13) while Bondurant-Johnson (#7) lost to Lubow-DeRose (#12).

In the quarter-finals, Marino-Stulac defeated Fiedler- Mansager; Lubow and DeRose defeated Berka-Eberly; Gambino-Ohlmuller defeated Broderick-Moore; and, Heil-English defeated Barnes- O’Neil.

The semi-finals saw two thrilling upsets as Heil and English bested Ohlmuller and Gambino 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 and DeRose-Lubow overcame Marino and Stulac 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The finals paired two teams who had never made it to the finals of a major championship, now in a battle to attain arguably the most coveted title in regual season platform tennis.

In the final showdown, 12th seeded Steve DeRose and Jon Lubow from Morristown, New Jersey, took the title defeating 8th seeded Brian Heil and Denny English form Columbus, Ohio, in 3 sets, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.

Winners in other draws:
Quarter Reprieve: Berka-Eberly
16 Reprieve: Reed-Ward
32 Consolation: Bakker-Mott
Consolation: Smith-Sullivan
Last Chance: Moran-Neave

Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Vol. 10, Issue 2, December, 2008