Multiple matches test stamina after 1st-day washout
Updated 10:18 pm, Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Washed out by rain Saturday, the first Westport Open Tennis Tournament got under way Sunday at Greens Farms Academy. And to make up for the delay, opening-round winners had to play multiple matches.
Westport's Ionut Hurduc, a teaching pro and the top seed in the men's open singles division, defeated Kyle Hine 6-2, 6-1 in semifinal round action after a 6-3, 6-4 quarterfinal-round victory over Ted Berkowitz.
Hurduc will face Matthew Lance in the finals on Saturday, Aug. 25.
"I think I started out a little bit slow, but I got better in the second round," said Hurduc, a native of Romania.
He competed on the pro tour very briefly -- about six months, he said. He's lived in Westport for three years and is a teaching pro at the Kings Highway Tennis Club in Darien.
He still keeps the competitive fire stoked, however, playing in USTA tournaments like the Westport event.
Hurduc said what he likes best about tennis is "the adrenaline of the game, the nerves of competition, the emotions you go through, and staying focused all the time."
He will look to stay focused when the tourney concludes Saturday.
In the Men's 55 singles division, Westport's John Oppenhimer advanced to the finals when opponent and fellow Westport resident Peter Thompson withdrew because of injury.
Oppenhimer will take on the other semifinal winner, Jeffrey Ginzberg.
Oppenhimer had a very busy day, also playing multiple matches in the Men's 4.0 singles division on his way to taking that title.
Oppenhimer upset top seed Daniel Goldstein 6-4, 6-3 in the semis and prevailed 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 over Peter Krajnak in the championship round.
Oppenhimer said he is optimistic that the Westport Open will be back next year and gain popularity over time.
"It's a beautiful facility," he said of the Greens Farms courts. "And hopefully it will become more well-known in the years to come."
Oppenhimer said he has played in other USTA tourneys run by Todd Nicholson, who is director of the Westport tournament, noting Nicholson always runs a smooth event.
A tennis player through high school, Oppenhimer turned his attention to baseball after he graduated, and didn't play competitive tennis for 35 years until recently getting back into the sport.
"It is an entirely different game than I remember, but I am very much enjoying re-learning," the 55-year-old Westport resident said.
"It's great. It's wonderful to play. I'm frustrated because the body doesn't do as much as you tell it to today," he said.
Still, Oppenhimer has one Westport Open title under his belt, and will go for another this weekend.
Other players tried to pace themselves through multiple matches Sunday.
Weston's Georgian Marcu, like Oppenhimer, competed in two categories.
He fell in the quarterfinals of the men's 4.5 singles category, and also competed in the mixed open doubles round robin competition.
"You have to adjust a little bit. You can't throw yourself all the way into the first match," Marcu said of the importance of conserving some energy because of much of the two-day tourney getting truncated into a single day.
Weston's Marie Gargiulo combined with Norwalk's Zack Lamar to win twice in the mixed doubles round robin that will also conclude Saturday.