Long Island Tennis Magazinehosted the second Long Island Tennis Challenge of the summer, this time at the Hamlet Golf and Country Club in Commack.
The event brought together local tennis players of all levels, including some of the best players in the area. Not only did the spectators and competitors have the luxury of watching some great tennis, they were also able to enjoy some delicious food and drinks provided by the great Hamlet staff. The Hamlet was setup beautifully and what was once the stomping grounds of players like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi became the home for local players on this day.
Before the tournament began, pros from Sportime Kings Park and the John McEnroe Tennis Academy hosted a free clinic for the tournament participants to get things going.
In the Men’s Amateur "A" Division, a new champion was crowned. Three-time LI Tennis Magazine Challenge winners Lionel Goldberg and Jonathan Klee were knocked off for the first time in challenge play, falling to Chris Colesanti and RJ Narciso in the semifinals. Waiting for Colesanti and Narciso in the finals were Dan Kresh and Bob Scheer, who came out victorious, winning 6-4 to win their first LI Tennis Magazine championship.
The match started with Kresh and Scheer breaking Colesanti with great returns and swarming net play. Both teams were able to hold serve in the next couple of games, until Kresh and Scheer were able to secure another break, this time against Narciso, to jump ahead 5-2. Colesanti and Narciso broke back to stay in the match but in the end were not able to complete the comeback as Kresh served out the match for a 6-4 win.
“It was tough out there with the wind conditions but we were able to break through and come out on top,” said Kresh. “The only thing we thought about was hitting one more shot than our opponents and today we were able to do that.”
The Men’s Amateur "B" Division saw Neal Aronin and Barry Goldsmith dominate throughout the tournament. They went undefeated in pool play and advanced to play Jim Koeppel and Dan Brookes in the semifinals. After winning that match, the duo took on Eric Weiss and Scott Perlman in the finals.
Aronin and Goldsmith continued their winning ways in the finals, defeating Weiss and Perlman to capture their first LI Tennis Magazine Challenge title.
Aronin and Goldsmith enjoyed the whole day both on and off the court.
"They fed us a delicious breakfast and lunch, we got to play six fun and competitive matches, said Goldsmith. It's been a great day!"
Aronin added: “The play was great and the hospitality was amazing. Everyone was so nice.”
In the Women’s Amateur Division, Marie Woitach and Michelle Stoerbach outlasted Dorian Consiglio and Merri Lafitte in a long grueling match 7-6 (8-6). The pair were able to overcome a 1-5 deficit to win the title.
Woitach and Stoerbach would not stop fighting down 1-5. The two won five straight games to take a 6-5 lead and had a chance to serve for the match, but were broken to force the championship into a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, the points went back and forth before Woitach was finally able to put away a volley set up by a great Stoerbach serve
This was Woitach and Stoerbach's first win at the Long Island Tennis Challenge after advancing to the finals last summer.
In the last tournament of the day, the always competitive players of the Men’s Pro Division took to the courts. In the finals, Adrian Contreras, Director of Tennis at West Rock Indoor Tennis, and Michael-John Every, who just graduared from St. John's, defeated Cory Hubbard, St. John's Associate Head Coach, and Rafael Charkiewicz, who plays for NYIT, 6-1 to be crowned champions.
The pair of Conteras and Every defeated the defending champion Gustavo Loza and his partner Vaidik Munshaw, who just recently won the US Open National Playoffs Eastern Sectionals, in a super tie-breaker in the semifinals, fighting off match points in the process to advance to the championship
In the finals, Contreras and Every were able to start the match by quickly jumping ahead 2-0 after breaking the serve of Hubbard and holding their serve easily. Charkiewicz gained a little momentum back by holding with a quick service game. Contreras and Every took control from there, however, winning the final 4 games of the set. Every was able to close out the match on his serve, firing two aces and then finishing things off with a touch volley on match point.
“I was a little rusty in the beginning but I was able to find my rhythm with my partner.” said Every. “Now that I’m coaching, it’s fun when I’m able to compete like this. I’ll definitely be competing again in the next Long Island Tennis Challenge!”
Hubbard was playing in his first LI Tennis Challenge and said he enjoyed the tournament's atmosphere.
“It was a lot of fun, it was a really great group of guys.” said Hubbard . “It was my first tournament in like 9 years so it was a lot of tennis but a lot of fun as well. We had the U.S. Open National Playoffs winners lose in the semifinals, so the competition level was very high."
Long Island Tennis Magazine would like to thank its sponsors JMTA, Sportime Kings Park, KryoMed, inPhorm, Glam Slam, the Connecticut Open and of course The Hamlet for making the event a success. The next Long Island Tennis Challenge will be played at Engineer’s Country Club in Roslyn on July 30.