Mother Nature pushed the New York Beach Tennis (NYBT) Open back one day from Saturday to Sunday, but when Sunday came and the tournament was about to begin, the players couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere or conditions.
NYBT returned to the sand of Crest Hollow Country Club and hosted it's first of three 2017 summer tournaments.
In the Men's Open Division the top seeds David Sickmen and Roey Heymann cruised through pool play and eventually into the finals where they met Jason Quintana and Chris Cetaneau. The rallies were exciting but in the end, Sickmen and Heymann, playing their first tournament together, were able to pull out a 6-2, 6-3 victory to win the championship.
Experience was the key in the Women’s Open Division. In a draw loaded with talented high school and college tennis players who were new to the sand, the final ended up being a battle between beach tennis veterans, as the second-seeded team of Val Bogard and Lisa Goldberg and the fourth-seeded team of Jennifer Peterson and Basia Drozdik squared off.
Long points were the theme in this match with many rallies lasting more than 10 shots. In the end, it was Bogard and Goldberg's day as they pulled out a 6-2, 6-2 win.
Just as important as what happened on the court is what happened off of it. Players were entertained all day by DJ Curtis McCalla and relaxed with other beach games such as Cornhole, KanJam and Spikeball. It was a hot day so players cooled off in the Crest Hollow pool, just a few steps away from the courts, and enjoyed lunch as well.
"As fierce as the competition was, I was amazed by the camaraderie,” said Harris Durkovic. “Everyone really got along well, was dancing, joking, eating, playing Spikeball... It was a great day!”
Alan Brofka returned to the sand this summer after two years off:
"So happy to be back! Everything ran perfectly! Good times!"
"It was the right mix of people and we got great weather. We had a lot of first and second year beach tennis players who have or are playing college or pro tennis and are picking up the sport quickly,” said NYBT Founder David Sickmen. “But most importantly it's a group that really gets along, works together and has a great time on and off the sand. We sold out the tournament in eight days! We got more players than a large majority of tournaments I've played around the world that offer ITF points or prize money. Since I have played the sport for years, I know how important organization is to the overall experience of the players. They want to feel like they are getting value. People are busy and need to plan their days. As an organizer of this tournament, as well as a player, I take pride in making sure all the players get the experience I'd want if I was playing somewhere else."
The next tournament up is NYBT's Battle on the Beach, which will be held on Saturday, July 15 and then NYBT will head east for the NYBT Hamptons Invitational in August which will include pro tennis players.
Click Here to see more photos from the tournament.