The Long Island Platform Tennis Association, Chaired by Charles Vasoll, hosted the 2002 Men's and Women's Open National Championships from March 8-10. The weather was a comfortable 65 degrees; however, occasional wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour were not uncommon. One thing was for sure, a wind of change was in the air.
Going into the Men's Round-of-16, no major upsets occurred. But everyone knows that anything can happen in the Nationals. The 16's saw two upsets: Mike Cochrane-Martin Sturgess (12) def. Brian Uihlein-John Hough (4) and Mike Marino-Chris Williams (10) def. Scott Estes-Scott Mackesy (2). With the gates opened up. Mike Gillespie-Bob Conklin (6), the highest remaining seeded team in their half of the draw, advanced past Marino- Williams in the quarter-finals and over John Milbank and Jim Kaufman (8) in the semi-finals (Milbank-Kaufman advanced over Sturgess-Cochra[...]
APTA President John Horine expressed his views in the From the APT column in PTM:
A topic of much paddle party conversation and PTM articles so far this season is back-draw defaulting. Everybody seems to have an opinion on this issue and lots of people have expressed them to me in one form or another. My personal opinion? I think defaulting out of any round of any draw of any event (for anything other than a valid injury) flies directly in the face of what platform tennis is all about. As I wrote in the last issue, platform tennis is a sport made up of a close community of people - all enjoying each other and the sport they love. If someone loses and decides not to play the consolations, they are depriving not just one, but several teams from competing in matches they may have traveled many hours to play. I cannot comprehend someone signing up to play in an event and pulling ou[...]
Is it truly possible to determine who the best platform tennis players were based on their records, or is it more realistic to ask the veterans who played through the late 70's heyday and continue to compete today? No matter what criteria you use, the one name that always rises to the surface in women's paddle is Robin Fulton.
Robin picked up her first wooden paddle in 1978 when her parents installed a court in their Darien. CT backyard. A year later, Robin began to take the game seriously, at The Paddle Center in Norwalk, under the careful watch of her friend and coach, Bob Callaway.
Before long, Robin had excelled in local women's paddle and was competing at line one in the men's league for the Stanford Yacht Club. Bob Callaway recalls, "I can remember Charlotte Lee, Linda Wolf, and the other top women in their prime times, however, no one could intimidate or dominate a match lik[...]
Rain was forecast all week long. Somehow, on November 2nd, the weather broke and nothing but 65 degree warmth and sunshine was in the forecast. Women's Tournament Director, Liz Hayward, kicked off the show on Friday morning with a full 32-team draw, featuring all but a few of the top-ranked players. Among 'the few' not playing included Sarah Krieger, the other half of last season's Charities Champs. The other winner, Robin Fulton, paired up with Cindy Prendergast.
Patty Hogan was absent due to family illness. Therefore, everyone felt that with teams switching around and two of the game's top players absent, the women's draw was up for grabs. Everyone, that is, except the top seeded team of Sue Aery and Gerri Viant. Coming off another National Charities takeover.
Director Hayward only seeded three teams; however, five other teams were placed. As expected, the ro[...]
Majorie Hodson reported on the Championship for PTM:
Once again, the future of platform tennis descended on Beacon Hill Club in Summit, NJ. Fifty-six pairs of juniors competed in four age groups for the right to be called National Champions and wear the coveted medals. These APTA Junior Nationals featured competitive matches and unparalleled sportsmanship. And these kids can play!
Check-in and lunch at Beacon Hill Club preceded a group photo. Players then dispersed to nearby clubs (Canoe Brook Country Club, Short Hills Club and The Racquets Club of Short Hills) to begin the competition. Following round robin play in all age groups, finalists returned to Beacon Hill to finish the tournament.
In 10 & Under play, reigning champ Pete DonnaHy paired with last year's finalist James Burke to defeat Karen Cash, Donnally's partner a year ago, and Evan Zimmer. Twenty-one pairs vied for [...]
On November 17, 2001, the Viking Cup was hosted by the Montclair Golf Club and utilized the courts of Montclair, Essex Fells Country Club, Fellsbrook Club, and Essex County Country Club. On a beautiful Sunday morning, 37 adult/junior teams, representing the best in Canada and the US, assembled at Montclair. Well over 100 teams competed in the various play down-sites, which is a testament to the current health of junior paddle. All preliminary matches were run in a flighted round robin tournament with the top two finishers going on to the semis. The level of play among all of the teams was impressive to watch and made many of us feel we were watching the future stars of our sport display their precociously high level of proficiency.
18 & Under Finals
Anthony Nunziata and Bob Considine def. Diego Rodriguez and Doug White 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
15 & Under Finals
Ari and Rayni Borinsky def.[...]
On March 17, 2002, Sue Aery (and partner, Gerri Viant) shocked the spectators at the National Championships. No, it wasn't the service let cord that dropped in for a match point ace. Nor was it the tight third set victory After all. Sue and Gerri had won seven of the previous eleven Women's Open National Titles, including three in a row. The surprise came to the crowd when Sue picked up the microphone and announced her retirement from platform tennis.
Sue and Gerri had accomplished more than they ever could have imagined thirteen years earlier. Just when 400 exuberant fans were expecting Sue's modest victory speech, her tearful eyes and trembling voice proclaimed a different message, "As of now, I am announcing my retirement from platform tennis to pursue a career in chiropractic therapy."
Sue's mother. Peg, said, "Sue has had extensive chiropractic therapy over her athletic career[...]
Bertan Cikigil and Rich Lombard reported on these events which were played at The Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, New York and featured a turnout of 65 teams:
Represented in the draw were teams from Canada, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and the Northeastern states. Three days of non-stop play featured a number of firsts, such as:
• Bob Brown and Howard Sipe won the Men's Senior 65's and gained their first-ever win over Bill and David Childs 7-5, 0-6, 6-4
• In the Men's Senior 55's, Gary Cochrane and Tom Caputo gained their first (or anyone else's for that matter) win over Doug Russell and Hank Irvine (1-6, 6-2, 6-3), and then went on to win the championship over Scott Estes and Danny Galves by a score of 6-4, 6-2. This was their 29th match against each other, and they now stand 1 and 28. Congratulations to perseverance!
• The Men's Senior 4[...]