Championships dished out at Banana Open tennis finals

mmccombs@islandpacket.comOctober 7, 2013 

It was a jam-packed weekend of tennis at Palmetto Dunes.

Hilton Head Island again hosted the Banana Open Championships, a tournament featuring participants from Banana Open events held in several cities over the summer.

Two-hundred forty-three players started play Friday morning, played late into the night and then did the same thing again on Saturday. Some semifinals were played Sunday morning before the finals wrapped up the tournament in the early afternoon.

One of the last matches to finish Sunday was Jackie Fitzpatrick and Rick Stoller's 6-4, 7-5 Mixed 9.0 doubles championship over Courtney Henderson and Scott Wester.

"I played pretty well," Stoller said. "I was tired, though. I hit the wall. It was our seventh match of the weekend."

The duo, who played together at this tournament for the first time in five years, played a match Friday night, four on Saturday and two more Sunday.

Their opponents, Henderson and Wester, are from Savannah and play Hilton Head often.

"I love it, it's relaxing," Henderson said.

"This facility is probably the best one," Wester said of Palmetto Dunes. "We enjoy it here. It's a really good tournament."

As far as their play was concerned, Wester said he and Henderson "played well."

"But they played better," Henderson added.

Tournament director Jackie Reynecke said players came from as far away as Annapolis, Md., and Virginia Beach, Va.

"And with the weather, it was already a spectacular weekend above and beyond the tennis," she said.

Reynecke thinks the Banana Open event is different from others on Hilton Head.

"It really has a great dynamic of bringing in new people every year who've never been to Hilton Head or never won a challenge," Reynecke said.

"That's what I think is really interesting about this event. And because you have to qualify, I think it lends itself to people really making plans to come and actually spend a vacation."

After their victory, Fitzpatrick and Stoller have a five-and-a-half-hour drive back to Columbus, Ga.

"It was worth it," Fitzpatrick said.

Banana Open Challenge

Sunday at Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center


Singles -- Men

2.5: Nicholas Hindt (round robin)

3.0: Terrell Van Ingen def. Scott Murphy 6-1, 6-2

3.5: Anthony Wagner def. Mark White 6-3, 6-7, 1-0

4.0: Ebenezer Dadzie def. Gary Mallard 6-3, 6-4

4.5: David Hartsack def. Brandon Jones 6-4, 6-1

Open: Ivan Besancon def. T.C. Lauer 7-6, 6-4

Singles -- Women

2.5: Ruth York (round robin)

3.0: Amber Monroe def. Sarah Beall 6-1, 6-4

3.5: Julie Minick def. Janet Peduzzi 6-2, 6-0

4.0: Debi Strauch def. Mary E. Thompson 6-1, 6-2

4.5: Jody Pearce (round robin)

Doubles -- Men

3.0: Stone Hutto/Ben Malo def. Joseph Curcio/Lars Ulbricht 6-1, 6-2

3.5: Barry Bryant/Adrian Villalon def. Eva Dechant/Chris Fusting 6-1, 6-2

4.0: James Brooks/Robby Kerr def. Carey Hodsden/Mo Pascual 6-2, 4-6, 1-0

4.5: Rick Stoller/Steve Thiel def. Josh Goldblatt/Marc Parker 6-2, 6-1

Open: Ivan Besancon/Paul Sheets (round robin)

Doubles -- Women

3.0: Patty Lee/Beth Redding def. Margaret Baxter/Cindy Hile 7-5, 2-6, 1-0

3.5: Angele Barker/Gina Nichols def. Amy Abernathy/Johanna Newman 6-0, 6-1

4.0: Allyson Bensch/Donna Bierschenk def. Chris Clure/Leslie Marino

4.5: Anne Beasley/Courtney Henderson def. Rachel Horn/Stacey Schulhofer 3-6, 6-4, 1-0

Doubles -- Mixed

6.0: Vilma Beitin/Lenin Lezzaro def. Lisa Murphy/Scott Murphy 6-4, 6-1

7.0: Johanna Newman/Adrian Villalon def. Cindy Hile/Clay Hile 6-1, 6-1

8.0: Katherine Owen/ David Hartsack def. David Meeder/Shelly Meeder 6-2, 6-3

9.0: Jackie Fitzpatrick/Rick Stoller def. Courtney Henderson/Scott Wester

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