| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

Men’s Amateur Division

In the Men’s Amateur Division of the third and final Long Island Tennis Challenge of 2016, held at Engineers Country Club in Roslyn, N.Y., the team of Yuri Savransky & Paul Wilson won their first Long Island Tennis Challenge title, defeating the duo of John Paradisi & Brian Buyer by a score of 5-0. Savransky & Wilson did not have an easy road en route to the title, as they had to defeat the team of Jonathan Klee & Lionel Goldberg, three-time Long Island Tennis Challenge champions, in the semifinals. The win was also one of redemption for Savransky & Wilson, after losing in the finals of the first Long Island Tennis Challenge of the summer.

The finals started with the team of Savransky & Wilson breaking Paradisi after a long deuce game. In the second game, Savransky made sure that their first break did not go to waste, holding on for the 2-0 lead. Buyer tried to get some momentum back in the third game after some big serves, but Savransky’s forehand returns were too much to handle, and the pair were able to get a second break of the match to take a commanding 3-0 lead.

Savransky & Wilson never looked back, using their returns and net play to control the match and comfortably win 5-0.

“I always look forward to these tournaments, and I was happy to win this time after coming up just short last time here,” said Wilson. “Yuri [Savransky] is really a great guy, and I love playing with him. And it doesn’t hurt that he is a great player”

Savransky & Wilson both made it clear that they will be back next summer to try to defend their title in the next Long Island Tennis Challenge.

Women’s Amateur Division
In the Women’s Amateur Division, the semifinals featured the team of Karen Rubin & Laurie Karol taking on Ann Paraziat & Monica Maiellano, while Susan Fung & Nicole Tavernier faced Joie Hein & Virginia Ross in the other semifinal. After two competitive semifinals, the duo of Paraziat & Maiellano advanced to the finals against Fung & Tavernier.

Tavernier was broken to start the final, but her strong net play would prove to be the difference in the match. After breaking back in the second game, Tavernier & Fung were able to close out a tight service game, despite several baseline winners from Maiellano. After going up 3-1, Tavernier & Fung kept their foot on the gas pedal with Tavernier hitting volley winner after volley winner to put the duo ahead 4-1. Maiellano found herself serving another close game which ended after Fung hit a cross-court return, forcing a long forehand from Maiellano on match point to close things out.

“We know each other’s games so it makes it easier to play with someone you know,” Tavernier said.

Fung said she was happy to get the victory, especially considering what she called “a strong draw which had a lot of skill.”

Maslau & Silverman Take Men’s Pro Division
Playing in their first ever Long Island Tennis Challenge and for the first time as doubles teammates, the team of Hleb Maslau & Cameron Silverman captured the Men’s Pro Division title, battling past their opponents and steady rainfall to claim the $500 cash prize.

“That’s why they call it the Long Island Tennis Challenge, because you have to play in the rain,” Maslau said jokingly afterwards. “But it was a really cool tournament.”

Despite the unpromising forecast, the rain held off for the morning, but it began to fall by the early afternoon as the Men’s Pro Division got underway. That didn’t stop the high quality of tennis on the clay courts of Engineers Country Club, however, as the spectators who stuck it out were rewarded.

Maslau & Silverman defeated Miguel Cobbs & Andrew Chen in the semifinals, and would meet Jay Harris & Daniel Pellerito, who knocked off Cory Seltman & Sebastian Wernecke in the other semifinal.

The rain began to pick up as the finals began, but it did not deter either duo. Maslau got things started with a hold of serve in the final’s opening game, and the pair then broke Pellerito to open up the 2-0 advantage.

Silverman would consolidate the break by holding serve to push the lead to 3-0. Harris & Pellerito would not go quietly though, as a clutch service game from Harris cut the lead to 1-3, and a forehand winner from Harris in the ensuing game broke Maslau’s serve and brought the match back on serve.

But Maslau & Silverman dug in and broke Pellerito’s serve to go ahead 4-2. Silverman then served out the match, dialing up an ace on match point to capture the Men’s Pro Division title.

“That 3-2 game was a deuce game, so it really came down to a couple of points there. It was definitely a big game,” Silverman said of the break that put his team ahead 4-2. “It was a big momentum shift. We both make a lot of serves and returns, so we were comfortable no matter what situation we were in.”

Credit all photos to Emma Fein & Troy Haas