Marina City Club Singles Championships Sept. 15-16th

In the first round, we already had some exciting matches in the Singles Championship here at the Marina City Club.

 Bill Pegnato beat defending singles champion, Stephen Hall 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-3 on Court #1.  Mark Schwartz beat Camilla Horen 6-2, 6-1 on Court #2.  Allan Bledstein beat Jeff Smith 6-0, 6-0 on Court #5.  Jim Richards beat Pat Morrison 6-1, 7-5 on Court #6.

 After some upsets and close upsets, the players settled down into the hottest weekend of 2012 for some more form-filled tennis in the quarters on Saturday afternoon.  In the main draw, Mike Levitt overcame a determined Mark Schwartz to claim a place in the semi-finals on Sunday morning with a 6-4, 6-0 victory.  In the other 2 main draw quarter-finals, Carlos Dunkerly, last year’s finalist, pulled out a close match over newcomer Jim Richards 6-7(4), 6-4, 10-6; and Lamont Cosby defeated Allan Bledstein, this year’s Ringer champ, 6-4, 4-6, 10-7.

 In the consolation draw, Stephen Hall rebounded to win 6-0, 6-1 over another newcomer, Jeff Smith to move into the semi-finals there.  Other semi-finalists were Mark Schwartz, who defeated Pat Morrison, 6-3, 6-3 and Jim Richards also recovered from his long match with Carlos to win 6-1, 6-1 against Camilla Horen.

 In the main draw, the semi-finals featured several of our top male players.  Carlos Dunkerly fought a valiant opponent in Lamont Cosby and came out with a 6-3, 6-3 victory to march into his second consecutive final.  Mike Levitt woke up on the right side of the bed, showing nice form and movement to claim a final berth with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Big Bill Pegnato.

 In the consolation draw, Stephen Hall and Allan Bledstein each secured a spot in the finals.  Stephen’s victory was another tough fight, with him winning a see-saw battle over Mark Schwartz 6-1, 2-6, 10-8.  Allan attacked the net, to defeat Jim Richards, 6-4, 6-0. 

The finals were set for high noon on Sunday and all players were prompt and ready to play by 12:15pm.  The crowd slowly gathered as the first game between Levitt and Dunkerly on Court #1 went back and forth to deuce five times before Levitt secured the hold.  That set the stage for Mike’s lead to grow quickly to 3-0, however, Carlos settled down and started pushing back with heavy topspin forehands and drop shots.  He evened the match at 3-3 after 40 minutes of play.  Mike held and so did Carlos to even the score at 4-4.  The crowd of 30 oooo’ed and ahhhh’ed, as each player darted laterally during long ground-stroke exchanges.  Finally, Carlos broke Mike to take his first lead at 5-4.  However, it appeared that the pressure was getting to him, as he fell behind 15-40 in the next game.  Mike could taste 5-5.  Suddenly, Carlos hit a very deep forehand and a killer drop shot to even the score at deuce.  After another back and forth, Carlos eventually held with a decisive forehand volley to win the first set.

 In the second set, Mike’s movement was hindered by some pain in his hamstring, and Carlos continued to press, utilizing the drop shot and topspin angles to great effect.  Mike put up a fight, however, he could not overcome his mobility and Carlos’s shot-making, as Carlos cruised to his first Mcc Singles title with a 6-4, 6-1 victory. 

 In the consolation final on Court #2, Stephen Hall earned yet another singles trophy, defeating Allan Bledstein 6-3, 6-2, in a tough match that lasted 1 ½ hours.

Thanks to all the players who have the guts to compete in the heated tournament environment.

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