Western Open 2022 Round Up
Thursday 3rd March marked the start of a spectacular Western Open comeback. The troubles of cancelled tournaments due to Covid were put to rest as the singles draw drew in a number of 46 players across all levels. North American rackets finally rediscovered the much missed tournament comradery, with old friends rejoining and competing throughout the weekend. Not only was the tournament a sign of the socializing rackets community regathering but also a sign of some incredible rackets between the top players in the World.
The singles tournament saw both the new generation and old generation tangle, as previous winners such as Bill Hargrave found themselves in a tournament with the up and coming future generation such as Tanner Austin. The earlier round teaser of the tournament was an absolute epic match between Newton Sears and Philip Rooney. The pair battled away and went to three games, with Philip’s overhead drop shots eventually proving too much for Newton Sears. The first and second seeds were always destined to meet in the final, neither dropping a game en-route to the final. The gallery was full of the Chicago faithful and the Rackets didn’t fail to impress. The ball was moving at great speeds and after a long battle; Old Chicago fellow Ben Cawston achieved victory, in a fairytale-esk ending. 15-1, 15-10, 1/15, 3/15 and 15/9.
It was not the singles alone that brought in the great international and Chicago crowds. A Chicago double act consisting of, Will Hopton and Conor Medlow, seeked glory in the doubles too. However before we get into the champagne rackets, the doubles thriller of the weekend was a matchup between Giles Hocking and Tyler Hathaway taking on 6th seeds Rory Sutton and Will Morse. The match entered a third and final game seeing match points left right and center. The Montreal fellow, Hocking, and New York member Hathaway produced a spectacle for the ages, narrowly missing out on a quarter finals spot as Morse/Sutton, the British spice, closed the match out in the third. The home croud got behind their pair Conor Medlow and Will Hopton who overcame 1st seed Alex Duncliffe Vines and Dan Fisher in the semi final. Sunday morning was welcomed with the traditional Racquet Club Sunday brunch and a final not to be missed. Exchanges between the Hopton forehand and Cawston backhand were epic but it was the fluidity between the pair, Hopton and Medlow, that won them the final in a crushing 3-0 victory. The score being 15/3 15/2 15/8.
The Tennis Handicap Doubles was won by Rory Sutton and Dominic Wright with a well fought victory over Max Drake and Peter Dunne.
Finally, the 2022 Western Open revisited the old ways and time was almost reversed to pre-covid as Chicago hosted a spectacular tournament, and put on a fantastic event both on and off the courts.