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Western Open 2020

The Western Open singles and doubles championships were contested this weekend with a strong draw despite several withdrawals due to coronavirus fears.  Play kicked off on Thursday and continued through Friday with many hard fought battles for the diminishing number of spots in the quarter and semi-finals.  The Friday night black tie dinner was well-attended with around 30 enjoying humorous musings about the late Lou Habina and other entertaining stories.

On Saturday, semi-final matches were played with number one seed, Peter Cipriano, taking out Philadelphia’s own, Jon Crowell, in three high quality games from both players (15-6, 15-10, 15-3).

In the other semi-final, John Lumley continued to impress the faithful and was thought by many in attendance to be a new rising star in the game of racquets.  Lumley, whose sister is reigning Ladies World Doubles Rackets Champion, earned a spot in the semi-finals by taking out a very strong Oscar Butcher 15-1, 15-6.  It was anyone’s guess who would win his semi-final match against hard hitting New York pro, Barney Tanfield.  Unfortunately for Lumley, Tanfield played the best game of his weekend, mixing incredibly hard hit balls, with more moderately paced shots hit to good length.  Barney’s skill and experience were enough to put him through to the finals (15-8, 15-10, 15-2).

In the doubles semi-finals, Cipriano and Tanfield teamed up to take out the talented duo of Julian O’Riordan and Noah Martle (15-6, 15-6, 15-7), while Jon Crowell and John Lumley were true to their seed beating Steve Toseland and Ollie Baker 15-, 15-5, 15-9.

Sunday morning the singles finals got underway with Peter Cipriano taking on fellow New Yorker, Barney Tanfield.  Cipriano prevailed 15-5, 15-3, 15-12.  Cipriano’s outstanding angles, length, and court movement were enough to overcome Tanfield’s blistering pace and creative use of angles.

The styles and strengths of these two players continued when they paired up for the doubles final against John Lumley and Jon Crowell.  The first two games were highly entertaining with many long rallies, but it looked like Cipriano and Tanfield were in control of the match, notching two wins 15-9 and 15-9.  The tide turned in the third, however, with the Philadelphia duo storming back to win the next two games 15-12 and 15-8.  Lumley appeared to get better every game rapidly figuring out angles and strategy to match his court speed and incredibly fast hands.  Despite his relatively limited experience in racquets competitions, he appears to be a natural who is rapidly closing the gap with the top players in the game.  In the fifth game, fatigue after a long weekend of racquets may have started to set in.  Cipriano’s consistency may have been the difference as he and Tanfield rallied in the fifth for an impressive 15-3 win.

Congratulations to the 2020 Western Open Champions and well played to all who participated.

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