Wow, what a day of mixed doubles tennis! With forty players (20 teams) entered, Priscilla and I had our hands full trying to make this many folks get tennis matches in on our six courts. We organized a round robin format with tiebreakers to decide the seedings in the main draw. At the end of the tiebreakers we shifted the teams into a single-elimination draw with those having the best records getting the highest seedings. This made for true seeding based on results that morning, however, the draws did not hold to the seedings, which was a testament to how strong and close the teams were in abilities.
In the Gold Division, after some tough sets leading to the finals, things settled out with the team of Mitch Levine & Julie DeMayo battling Mitch Reinis & Karely Deal for bragging rights over the next twelve months. The match see-sawed through the first set. Numerous lengthy games that went to deuce led to the inevitable tie-breaker. The points continued with extreme consistency, clever angles, and monster “Mitch” smashes. In the end, Julie and Mitch edged out the first set. In the second set, it appeared that Julie and Mitch settled down to a better rhythm, while Mitch and Karely continued their defensive onslaught. After another half-hour, Julie and Mitch were able to outlast and outgun Mitch and Karely in another hard-fought set. The final score was 7-6, 6-2 in a match truly worthy of a Gold Division final. Congrats to Mitch Levine & Julie DeMayo our 2018 Mixed Doubles Gold Champs!
In the Championship Division there were some experienced, hard-hitting teams battling it out. After the seeding round, Brandon & Danielle Boyce came out as the top seeds along with Colleen Moryl and Israel Mora. However, in the main draw the seeds were turned on their heads with newcomers, Adeline & Robert Cook dismissing Israel & Colleen in the quarterfinals. On the other side, the Boyces were dispatched by another set of newcomers, Lisa-Marie Petersen and Casey Cook in the quarterfinals.
In the semi-finals, Casey & Lisa-Marie continued to show good form with Casey’s youthful power and Lisa-Marie’s rock-solid steadiness (always a tough doubles combination) to dismiss pre-tournament favorites Robert Rudelius & Donna Leventhal in an entertaining match. In the other semi, Lockard & Cook showed their experience against two powerful and skilled players in Adeline & Robert, by playing steady strong defense and keeping errors to a minimum.
It shaped up to be quite a final, with a father versus a son ala Star Wars. The younger Cook and Lisa-Marie, came out blazing with a strong hold and an immediate break to start the final. However, the elder Cook and Lockard buckled down for a long, bumpy ride by using Casey’s pace to effectively counterpunch along with some clever changes of pace, they countered to build a 5-2 lead. However, Casey & Lisa-Marie weren’t going away easily. They stormed back to 4-5, forcing Cookie to serve out the set. After a tense 30-30 point, Linda & Cookie arrived at set point. A big serve decided the set in favor of Cookie & Linda.
The second set saw Casey relax and use his heavy topspin to push their opponents back on their heels. In addition, Lisa-Marie show fine hands both at the net and on the return, cutting her errors in half as she adjusted to the pace. After some close games at the beginning of the set, they built a 5-2 lead of their own and never relinquished it, ending the set with hold of serve that saw Casey overpower both Cookie and Linda to win 6-3.
The final set was a ten-point tiebreaker. Cookie served first and immediately fell behind off a missed forehand. Then, Casey held on both his service points, followed by a heavy return down the middle that earned Lisa-Marie and Casey a quick 4-0 lead. That lead quickly evaporated as Linda and Cookie buckled down and eliminated all errors. They proceeded to win eight points in a row and closed out the match on Cookie’s serve, 10-7.
Congrats to Linda Lockard and Sean “Cookie” Cook for a well-played event!
Special thanks to Priscilla and Angel for their assistance with getting the food out for the semis and finals. The crowd for the matches was great today and of course, without the players, there is no tournament. Please keep looking for the upcoming events and participate, participate, participate! Events like this give Mcc it’s unique flavor and you always meet new people when you join us for these tournaments and interclubs. Our next event is the La Jolla Tennis Trip on May 4-6.
See you on the courts!