About a month ago, Russ Reinagel, the captain of Buffalo's Marsh Cup tennis team, felt that this year's contingent was one of the strongest that Buffalo had ever assembled for the competition between Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Toronto.
His words proved to be prophetic as Buffalo won the June 23-24 competition for the first time since 1998.
After defeating Toronto, 11-6, on the first day, Buffalo went on to defeat Rochester, 9-8, on a pulsating final day of action.
The open doubles team of Kristen Ortman, a former UB star, and Maggie Nenova, a present UB standout, scored the deciding win. Equally as impressive was their playoff win against Carolyn Schopp and Jenny Schneider for the doubles spot on the Buffalo team. Schopp and Schneider are recognized as one of the finest women's doubles teams in the area.
Nikesh Panthia starred for UB this past year. He played first singles in the Open division for Buffalo and impressed everyone with his all-around game in straight set wins over opponents from Toronto and Rochester.
Although Schopp lost her doubles spot she showed why she is one the area's finest singles players in winning both of her matches in straight sets.
"Kenny White was phenomenal!" Reinagel said.
What else can be said about the 46-year-old wonder? Voted the No. 1 player in the Buffalo News rankings last year, he was a straight-sets winner both days in the Men's 45 & over division.
Reinagel did an impressive job in holding challenge matches in most of the divisions to determine who would play for the Buffalo team.
Results of the Buffalo-Rochester match follow:
Men's 1st Singles: Nikesh Panthia (Buf.) def. Matt Nielsen (Roch.), 6-3, 6-3.
Men's 2nd Singles: Jesse Hutchinson (Roch.) def. Dave Youvanoff (Buf.), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Men's 35 1st Singles: Gordon Quinton (Roch.) def. Stephen Sayoc (Buf.), 6-3, 7-6.
Men's 35 2nd Singles: Dave Carlson (Buf.) def. Mark Semler (Roch.), 6-3, 6-2.
Men's 45 Singles: Ken White (Buf.) def. Chris Burr (Roch.), 7-5, 6-3.
Men's Open Doubles: Hutchinson-Nielsen (Roch.) def. Panthia-Youvanoff (Buf.), 7-6, 6-2.
Men's 35 Doubles: Carlson-Mark Szafnicki (Buf.) def. Semler-Dave Sensenig (Roch.), 7-5, 6-2.
Men's 45 Doubles: White-Dusty Nelson (Buf.) def. Chris Hayes-Tom Hartzell, 6-2, 6-2.
Men's 55 Doubles: Burr-Mike Walkoff (Roch.) def. Doran Goldstone-Mike Melnick (Buf.), 6-0, 6-3.
Men's 60 Doubles: Melnik-Earl Tomkins (Buf.) def. John Long-Tim Berry (Roch.), 6-4, 6-2.
Women's 1st Singles: Olga Khmylev (Buf.) def. Diana Toia (Roch.), 6-2, 6-2.
Women's 2nd Singles: Carolyn Schopp (Buf.) def. Marissa Grammar (Roch.), 6-3, 6-1.
Women's 35 Singles: Eri Latimer (Roch.) def. Kristen Kesler (Buf), 6-1, 6-4.
Women's Open Doubles: Maggie Nenova-Kristen Ortman (Buf.) def. Liz Toia-Marissa Grammar (Roch.), 6-1, 6-4.
Women's 35 Doubles: Latimer-Nora Gelb (Roch.) def. Maria Lapetina-Amy Moore (Buf.), 6-2, 6-1.
Women's 50 Doubles: Vick Nagy-Lynn Dymynisky (Roch.) def. Val Elfin-Marilyn Webster (Buf.), 6-1, 7-6.
Mixed Open Doubles: Nagy-Quinton (Roch.) def. Steve Beatty-Elise DeRose (Buf.), 6-1, 7-6.
>Muny opens July 18
The 86th Buffalo Municipal Tennis Championships will be held July 18-29 at the McMillan and South Drive tennis courts in Delaware Park. Russ Reinagel is the tournament director and may be reached at 913-6362 to enter the tournament. You may also enter the tournament by going to www.buffalonews.com and clicking on Muny Tennis tournament.
Here are some tips that will help you in the tournament; especially if you are playing in the tournament for the first time:
* If you are scheduled to play between 4:30 and 7 p.m. you will find that the noise from the traffic behind the courts is deafening and that beeping horns will distract you. Anticipate this and practice as much as possible during these hours to get acclimated to the noise.
* Practice at different times to get used to playing in the early morning and at midday.
* Practice on both sides of the court because the wind can be very disconcerting at Delaware Park. It can be gusty regardless of the time of day. You will find that you will have to adjust your shots to use the wind to your advantage.
* Bring plenty of liquids. There are no drinking fountains near the courts. In addition you should have towels, wrist bands, head bands, a hat, sun glasses, and any other equipment that you might need.
* If you have been playing primarily on clay courts you must start practicing a good two weeks before the tournament to get used to the fast cement courts at Delaware Park. You will find that the bounce is totally different and that the courts are far less forgiving on your body.
* Don't enter more than two events. Some players enter three or more events. You may get involved in a tough three-setter that lasts more than two hours. Then, because you are playing in other divisions, you may have to play immediately after your tough match.
You could suffer a serious injury or get heat exhaustion, especially if the temperature is 85-90 and humid. Be smart. Enter two divisions at the most.