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Winners Emerge at US Open Playoffs Midwest Qualifier

June 16, 2015 02:24 PM
Men's Champion: Martin Joyce
Women's Champion: Sara Daavetilla
Men's Doubles: Charlie Emhardt and Jeffrey Schorsch
Women's Doubles: Sara Daavetilla and Alyvia Jones
Mixed Doubles: Tyler Faulkner & Simone Jardim

The US Open National Playoffs Midwest Sectional Tournament came to a close late yesterday at the Greater Midland Tennis Center in Midland, Mich.  Champions were crowned in all divisions:  Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles.  All winners advanced to the US Open National Playoffs and will compete for a chance to play in the US Open.

The finals in both singles matches included competitive college-level players, and the Mixed Doubles match paired a finalist from last year against two college tennis coaches.  Following is a summary of the results.

Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles:
The No. 1 seed bound for Ohio State University, Martin Joyce (Hinsdale, Ill.), defeated the No. 3 seed Matthew McCoy, from Indiana University, 6-4; 7-5.  Joyce was pleased with how he played and enjoyed the tournament.

“It was a lot of fun and I was really happy with how I played,” he said.  Joyce also liked how this tournament gave him the opportunity to face new competitors.  “It was very cool.  There are a lot of really good guys out here; a lot of college guys I haven’t seen before, so it was a lot of fun,” he said. 

Although he came out the champion in the singles, Joyce and doubles partner Sam Sweeney (Arlington Heights, Ill.) fell to Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind.) and Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio), in the Men’s Doubles, a new division this year.  Emhardt and Schorsch (who reached the quarterfinals in men’s singles) won the title 6-4; 6-4.

Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles:
Two friends and doubles partners had to face-off against each other in the women’s singles final.  It was a tough match but in the end, it was No. 1 seed Sara Daavettila, a high school senior from Williamston, Mich. who defeated No. 3 seed and Bullock Creek High School tennis star Alyvia Jones, 6-7(5); 6-3; 6-2.

Although the two practice together daily, neither think the familiarity gave them any type of advantage over the other.

“I play her [Alyvia] everyday in practice; we know each other’s games inside out,” said Daavettila.  “Actually, it’s always hard playing your friends.”

Daavettila said she started out “a little shaky” but after the first set started to improve and find her game.

“In the third set I think it was all more physical – who could stay in those points, and I pulled it out,” she said.  “This is my first time playing this tournament, and it was local, so it was great to represent Michigan!”

After the singles match, the young women looked forward to the Women’s Doubles competition when together they defeated the team of Jerricka Boone (Chicago, Ill.) and Adesuwa Osabuohien (Hazel Crest, Ill.) 7-6; 6-2.  

Mixed Doubles:
The women’s tennis coaches from Michigan State University, Tyler Faulkner and Simone Jardim won the event, defeating Osabuohien and Bradley Holt (Homewood, Ill.), Mixed Doubles finalists from last year, 6-3; 6-3.  

“I knew it would be tough from the warm-up,” said Faulkner.  “Brad hit a very heavy ball and served huge.  So, it was going to be tough but we did a pretty good job of holding our own serve and taking advantage of the chances we got.  That pretty much was the difference.”

Jardim said that she believes because they have known each other and worked together for awhile they may have had an advantage.

“When playing together, in doubles, communicating with your partner is important, knowing each other’s tendencies.  I think this is what helped us the most this weekend when playing these younger kids,” she said, referring to themselves at the “old ones”.  “We’re the grandparents here this weekend!”

About the US Open National Playoffs
In its sixth year, the US Open National Playoffs is a series of tournaments designed to give any player 14 years of age or older the opportunity to qualify for the 2015 US Open.  The 14 champions or top available finishers in each division advance to the US Open National Playoffs Championship events that will take place later this summer in conjunction with the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event, in New Haven Conn.  

The US Open National Playoffs doubles champions (men’s women’s and mixed doubles teams) receive a main draw wild card into the 2015 US Open.  The US Open National Playoffs men’s and women’s singles champions earn a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the US Open.