USA Table Tennis

History of USA Table Tennis Volume 12

CHAPTER ELEVEN

                1983: May-June Tournaments.1983: Kosanovic/Domonkos Win Canadian Closed. 1983: Boggan/Seemiller in Jamaica for Norwich Union Masters.

 

            The May 7-8 Richland, WA Open saw Liana Panesko achieve her greatest local success to date. She came second to Quang Bui in the Open Singles by defeating Bill Popp, 19, 20, 10. She won the Women’s Singles from Erica Ziduliak. And she took the U-2000’s by downing in the semi’s Karol Ziduliak, -13, 14, 18, then in the final Popp again, 18, -19, 17. Other results: U-1800’s: Anthony Yu over Jim Dahlen. U-3600 Doubles:  Bui/Glenn Johnson over K. Ziduliak/Vinnie Horka. U-3600 Two-Man Team’s: K. Ziduliak/Horka over Popp/Chris Paque. U-1600’s: Vince Mioduszewski over Dahlen. U-3000 Doubles: Mioduszewski/Paque over Ziduliak/Ziduliak. U-3000 Two-Man Team’s: Yu/Vince Asavareungchai over Ziduliak/Ziduliak. U-1400’s: E. Ziduliak over Paque. U-1200’s: Olga Ziduliak over Dan Johnson. Senior’s: K. Ziduliak over Harold Fredrickson, 20, 19. U-21’s: Mioduszewski over E. Ziduliak, -13, 17, 18, then over Panesko.

              Warren Amey makes a distinction between single elimination events and round robins. “The former, he says, favor tournament organizers because there’s relatively less work in putting them on (half the competitors are eliminated each round). The round robins favor the players because the format maximizes competition at all levels, and also because the weak and inexperienced needn’t fear early elimination.”  It’s only fitting then that, since the June 25-26 Sacramento Summer Open Amey is reporting on (Timmy’s, Sept.-Oct., 1983, 27) “consisted of well-planned round robins, many of the events produced interesting and exciting results.”

            As an example, Warren elaborates on the final round robin play of the three top finishers in the Open Singles.  First up: Duc Luu of the San Francisco TTC who’d made the Final 12 at the Dec. U.S. Closed Team Trials vs. James Therriault, already not a multi-event winner but, next best thing to it, a multi-event survivor of 14 matches. As expected, Duc downed James in straight games. But then, not as expected, James took down Behzad Zandipour, also of the SFTTC, 22, -9, 11.

            “So now of course, said Amey,“ the finishing positions hinged on the outcome of the remaining match between Luu and Behzad. Luu had only to take advantage of his rating edge of 362 points to finish first and guarantee second place to James.” But that’s not the way it came down—though even after Zandipour won the first, 21-19, “most spectators were still waiting for the axe to fall.” And, sure enough, Duc “began cranking up his big counter game and went up 14-11. Bu then Behzad countered—literally—with five smashing rallies to take the lead, and from this vantage point allowed Luu only two more points, closing out the match at 18, and winning the round robin play.” Results: 1. Zandipour ($100), 1-1 (3-2). 2. Luu ($60), 1-1 (3-3). 3. Therriault ($30), 1-1 (2-3).

            “Behzad had wondered why his photograph had been included on the front of the tournament entry form, but his friend and fellow competitor Mike Greene feels he can explain it. “He’s a winner, that’s why.”

            Other results: U-1900: 1. Stefan Weissenbach. 2. Mike Greene. 3. Chris Holton. U-1700: 1. D. J. Wang (d. Susilo, -16, 19, 20). 2. Allen McDermott (d. Susilo, -11, 16, 18). 3. Mohammed Aghili. 4. Herman Susilo. U-3250 Doubles: Wang/Armand Aquino over Tom Miller/Dale Noffzinger. U-1400: 1. Angel Soltero. 2. Dave McAfee (d. Kung, 21, 22). 3. Johnny Kung. 4. Doohyun Won. U-1300: 1. Geoff Harvey. 2. Ron Jew. 3. Ken Wong. U-2250 Doubles: Brumby/Bill Brin over Bill Wright/Lloyd Henning. U-1100: 1.Wong. 2. Jim Scott. 3. Tom Bruenig. 4. Jeff Bishop (d. Scott, 20, -9, 19). U-900: Scott over David Garcia. U-700: Breunig over Robin Constantinides. Senior’s: Miller over Aghili.

            Before the $1600 Yasaka Invitational, played June 4-6 at Oklahoma City the week prior to the U.S. Open (Timmy’s, July-Aug., 29), Sue Butler was predicting that Houston’s Lekan Fenuyi, who represented Nigeria at two World Championships, would win the tournament. And how right she was—Lekan picked up first prize of $600 with surprising ease. “Top seed B.K. Arunkumar, who just a couple of days before had finished exams for his Master’s degree in Engineering, was obviously not at the top of his game, but still reached the final.” Near miraculously, in his semi’s, Kumar had been down 2-0 and 20-17 triple match point to Houston’s Roberto Byles, but pulled it out, 20, 15, 15 to take the second prize of $400.

            “This Invitational was played as a ‘modified double elimination’ tournament—with the two top players reaching the final being assured of first and second place. Losers before the final went to the Losers bracket and played until losing again. The winner of this Losers bracket, Rey Domingo, who’d defeated California Junior Khoa Nguyen, came third ($175). And the runner-up in the Losers bracket, Khoa, came fourth ($125). Byles and Sweden’s Christer Andersson were 5th-6th and won $90 each. New York’s George Cameron and Oklahoma’s Brian Thomas, 7th-8th finishers, got $60 each.

            There was a $2,000 May 14-15 Capitol Court tournament mentioned in Timmy’s—that’s Tim Boggan’s magazine he started after being fired as Topics Editor (more on that later)—but, given all that prize money, surely somebody was negligent in not publicizing it. There was no write-up or even mention of where the tournament was held. Just these few submitted results: Men’s: Scott Butler over Jim Lazarus, 24-22 in the 4th. Noteworthy quarter’s matches: Scott over Mike Baber in five; Mike Kim rallying over Brandon Olson, -19, -22, 19, 10, 11; and Lazarus getting by Jim Butler from 2-1 down. Women’s: Sheila O’Dougherty over Cheryl Dadian, 14, 17, 16.

            Rick Hardy (Timmy’s, July-Aug., 1983, 30) covers the May 28-29 3rd Annual Cleveland Open for us. It was his first year as Director of this tournament—he called it “Ohio’s finest”—held for 93 players from six states at the sponsoring Riverview Racquet Club in Eastlake.

Rick thanks the following for “making my job enjoyable and uplifting: The Akron TT Club and Mrs. Irma Bubley for use of tables; Glen Marhefka, Doug Hardy, and Dave Berenson for transporting tables; Guenther Schroeder for providing balls; and Chris Williams, Bill Hornyak, and James Ram for umpiring. Also, my special thanks go to Lori Berenson, the driving force behind the scenes for all three of our Cleveland Opens. Lori computerized the entries and events; sent letters to top players, potential sponsors, the radio, TV, and newspaper media; and made many other arrangements without which this tournament would have been impossible. Lori and those helpers I’ve just mentioned ask what they can do for table tennis, not what table tennis can do for them.”

The four players in the Open Singles semifinal round robin were Danny Seemiller, Ricky Seemiller, Dave Sakai (who’d advanced three straight over Brandon Olson), and Randy Seemiller (who,  leading Simon Shtofmakher, 19, -19, 20, suddenly saw their quarter’s match interrupted by a call for Simon “informing him of an auto accident involving his father-in-law.” Though Shtofmahker finished out this fourth game, it was clear his concentration had been broken, and he then defaulted in the AA’s and left the tournament.”

            As play progressed, Danny beat Dave and Randy straight-game comfortably. But while Ricky downed Randy three-zip, he had no easy match with Sakai, far from it. “Dave, playing better than I’ve ever seen him,” said Hardy, “took a 2-1 lead over Ricky. Down 19-18 in the fourth, Dave served an edge, but then lost the last two points. Behind 10-5 in the fifth, Ricky rallied to win, 21-18. Dave and Randy, both with two losses, didn’t play for third place, split the prize money.

            Back in 1981 at this Open, Ricky had Danny 14-6 in the fifth—and lost. This year, it looked as if Ricky would work a reversal. From down 2-0 he evened the match, then took an 11-9 lead in the fifth—only to lose again.

            Other results: Women’s: Gail Yaspan over Ruth Hunter. Open Doubles: Danny/Ricky over Shtofmakher/Sakai. AA’s: Sakai over Bob Powell, -8, 18, 20, 18 (down 1-0 and 10-5 in the second, Dave switched to an anti/inverted racket and turned the match around), then over Mike Veillette three straight. A’s: Jim Repasy over Torsten Pawlowski, 16 in the 5th. B’s: Cody Jones over George Brewer. C’s: Greg Brendon over Jim Spetsios. U-3400 Team’s: Brewer/Mark Litvin over D. Hardy/Bob Allen. D’s: Mike Mohan over Brian Snyder in five. E’s: Ray Panik over Scott Vandekinde. Novice: Bill Topich over Ron Arcaro. Novice Cons.: Gary Egri over Tom Sharples. Women’s Cons.: Janine Schroeder over Yaspan. Esquire’s: Hornyak over Neil Myers. Senior’s: Brendon over Lyle Thiem, 11, -20, 15, -18, 20. U-17: Eric McNulty over Ram.

            You’re quick to realize from Larry Thoman’s write-up of the Tennessee State Championships, played May 21st in Nashville, why he felt it was “a one-of-a-kind tournament that I hope will never be repeated.” Larry tells a good story as to why his Fortune Club wasn’t so fortunate this weekend—so let’s listen to it:

 

            “…Officially this event was known as the Tennessee State Table Tennis Championships. But within two hours of opening the playing site, we heard several nicknames beginning to be passed around.

            First, it was the ‘Noah’s Ark Open’ as two inches of unrelenting rain and thunderstorms pelted us throughout the day. Then it was the ‘Jazzercize Open’ as the pre-tournament exercise class warmed up the participants (even though they were only watching!). This changed to the ‘Ice-Capades Open’ as players began to slip and slide on the concrete floor that had become unbelievably wet from the extreme moisture and humidity. Next was the ‘Kitty Box Open’ as cat litter was applied to the floor to soak up the moisture. This was to no avail as everything was simply soaking wet. In a last-ditch effort, carpets on which the jazzercise class had exercised were dragged out and placed behind the tables. The last of the satirical aliases I heard that day was the ‘Burlington Open.’

            Upon these carpets we played the tournament. Almost immediately, several things became obvious: (1) The conditions were favorable to a sedentary, blocking style of play; (2) If you stepped off the carpet, you fell down; (3) The carpet raised a player’s height ¾-inch, drastically affecting players who rely on shots with little margin for error; and (4) The seams, the ridges, and the looseness of the carpet, and the general irregularities of the carpeted area made footwork difficult to say the least.

            With conditions so distracting, many upsets came as a logical consequence. Indeed, the #1, #2, and #4 seeds were all eliminated three straight in the quarter’s of the Championship event.

            First to fall was #4 seed Allen Barth of Memphis, rated 1913. He succumbed to sensational Dicky Thurston, playing in only his second sanctioned tournament. Even more amazing is that Dicky plays with a ½ inch-thick Brickell balsa veneer bat that has no rubber on it! Dicky is the best wood-bat player I’ve ever seen, even better than Tom McEvoy or Larry Mills. [But, oh, oh, the ITTF and USTTA law that you can’t play with wood goes into effect July 1.]

            Next to fall was top-seed Knoxvillian Scott Leamon. Henry Chan knocked him off, 19, 19, 23. When Henry brought the results in to the control desk, I sub-consciously thought I had the tournament locked up now that my main competitor had been eliminated. I also remember Scott declaring disgustingly that he “couldn’t play on these damn carpets,” and that he left soon after to drive back to Knoxville. Being somewhat egotistical at the time, I decided to play my quarter’s on the same table Scott and Henry had just played on. I figured I would show ole Scott that it wasn’t the conditions that made him lose, it was the player.

            How wrong I was! I had to play Robert Chamoun, a Seemiller-grip blocking-style player with anti on one side. I fell weakly by the wayside, 19, 18, 9, was never able to stay in the match. Now I knew what Scott was talking about. I simply could not concentrate on my strategy with the conditions so distracting. I knew I couldn’t step under the table to return a short ball (like one of Robert’s anti blocks), and couldn’t step out wide for fear of stepping off the carpet and falling on my ass. Indeed, the one time I did step out, I promptly found myself spastically trying to maintain my balance and return the oncoming ball (which I failed to do). Also, I felt like I was missing a lot of easy balls which I normally would put away. I was puzzled because I felt that my stroke was good and that I was in good position. Only later did I figure out why I was missing—I had forgotten to compensate for my sudden ¾-inch in height.

            I, too, had the same reaction as Scott after losing—I just wanted to leave the tournament. Trying to play on those carpets was a joke. Yet I couldn’t just take off because I was the Tournament Director. My mind was a haze of confusion and disgust. I had trained hard for months preparing for the tournament and I felt I was playing well. I thought I had taken care of all possible mishaps. I had replaced a couple of $100 light bulbs in the gym to insure good lighting. I had repaired a roof leak to keep water off the playing courts. I had swept the gym floor of dust and dirt and mopped the entranceway to present a neat appearance. I had repaired a water leak in the boys’ bathroom. I had cleaned up both bathrooms. I had appeared on TV for five minutes promoting the tournament as well as preparing two news releases and sending them to every newspaper and TV station in the area. All this preparation, planning, and hard work was laid in ruin by one simple occurrence—rain, rain, and more rain. I hated that rain.

            But credit must be given to those players who pulled off the upsets—they used the conditions to their advantage. Thurston used his change of spin and consistent forehand drive to record three consecutive upsets. Left-handed Henry Chan used his backhand jab-block and his heavy-spin, medium-speed forehand loop to record his first win ever over Leamon. And Chamoun used his short anti-blocks and blitzing forehand smash to raise his rating another 26 points.

            The lone survivor of the seeded players was Dave Abbott. Dave apparently adjusted to the conditions better than the rest of us as he seemed to get better throughout the day. He had to -22, 19, 13, 20 struggle with 1139-rated Bob McKinney. But after that shaky start, he dispatched Jim Flannagan three straight in the quarter’s, and Chamoun, -20, 12, 12, 15 in the semi’s.

            In the top half of the draw, Thurston, with his plain old wood bat, was still bent upon making fools of all the users of Friendship, Feint, Panda, Tackiness, Sriver, and Sriver Killer that he faced. But now, up against the veteran Chan in the semi’s of this prestigious Championship, would the pressure be too much for this modest, congenial player from the hills of East Tennessee? Would his old-fashioned bat finally lose its magic? Well, Dicky did lose, -11, 15, 16, -18, 17, but the rookie made Henry fight for every point. In the play-off for third place, Chamoun also beat him, but again it was close—25, 19, 20—and so Thurston at least had the consolation of knowing he earned a lot of respect (and rating points!) at this tournament.

            For the final between Abbott and Chan, the best court was selected (the one with the most regular carpet!). As the match got underway, in walked a photographer who would stay for the duration of the match, shooting four rolls of film! She was later joined by a cameraman from one of the local TV stations. Meanwhile, Henry and Dave were going at each other with a vengeance. Each knew this was their big chance—neither had even got to the semi’s of this annual tournament before. As it turned out, the match couldn’t have been closer—Dave finally pulled it out, 21-19 in the 5th (after being down 19-16). His State title trophy was over 2 and ½ feet tall!”

 

            In closing his article, Larry apologizes for the terrible conditions suffered by one and all, “and especially by Everett Henry, our only casualty because of the floor. We never had two inches of rain here before, but, should it happen again, as a precaution I’ve been diligently treating the floor with muriatic acid to improve its grip.”

            Other results: Doubles: R.R.1: Barth/Chamoun over Thoman/Chan. R.R.2: Abbott/Flannagan over Mitch Stephens/Harry Kiely. A’s: Abbott over Flannagan. B’s: Gerald Harris over Stan Wallen, 17 in the 5th. C’s: Thurston over Duane Kitchel who’d outlasted Neil Holloway, 24-22 in the 4th. D’s: Holloway over Kitchel. E’s: Kitchel over McKinney who’d advanced by Kenny Gordon in five (from down 2-0). Novice: John Walker over Charles Gary, 17 in the 5th. Beginner’s: J. Hill over Keith Rogers. Esquire’s: Hugh Lax over John White, def. Senior’s: Wallen over Larry Bartley, 24-22 in the 4th.

           

            Here’s Bard Brenner (Timmy’s, July-Aug., 1983, 31) on the “$1,000 Florida Summer Open, held the first weekend in June at Newgy’s Table Tennis center in Miami:

 

“This tournament drew the largest international field ever to play in the southeastern United States. For the first time in Miami table tennis history, the Championship Singles event had more players of international background than were home-grown in the U.S. In fact, since only two such Americans reached the second round, perhaps the tournament, a warm-up for the U.S. Open in Las Vegas the following week, should have been called the Florida International Open.

            In Championship Singles, the most exciting pre-quarter’s match saw Horace White take a 2-1 lead over 1979 Pan-Am star Mario Alvarez before finally succumbing in five. Dominican World team member Alvarez was not so fortunate in the quarter’s though. Against Trinidad’s Steve Ragbir he was again down 2-1 (after having just barely survived the first at deuce), had then rallied to lead 20-17 in the fifth—whereupon Ragbir streaked off five straight to win 22-20. All this under the watchful eye of NBC TV that showed excerpts of the match on the 11:00 p.m. and next morning news—thanks mainly to publicist Andy Leviton.

            In the semi’s, Ecuador’s #1, Gustavo Ulloa, finished off Jamaican National David Marchalleck ($55) in straight games; and Sweden’s Johan Ronnby, conqueror in the quarter’s of Jamaica’s Steve Hylton, was eventually too five-game much for Ragbir ($55). Ulloa then went on to 13, -19, 12, 17 win the $300 first prize from young Ronnby ($150). The Ecuadorian also partnered Alvarez to a first in Championship Doubles ($100) over Marchalleck and his countryman Evan Williams. Women’s went to Jamaica’s Carla Belnavis over Miami’s Jill Verona who’d advanced in five over Sylvia Rosenthal.

            Post tournament coverage was among the best ever—with results and even full-page features the next week on Laszlo Bellak and Horace White in the Miami Herald. We also got coverage in Brian McCullock’s Caribbean Sun.”

            Other results: Class A: top-seed Marlon Anderson, a Jamaican now living in Atlanta, over Dominican Efraim Reyes, 18 in the 3rd. Class B: Roman Teller over Martin Bandino. C’s: Dominican Nicolas Caffaro over Steve McLaren who’d eliminated Rene Tywang, 19 in the 3rd.

D’s: Frank Hanley over Simon Weiner. E’s: Rick Kadin over Jim Harrell, 19 in the 3rd. Novice: John Livelsberger over Rupert McFarlane. Novice Women: Terese Terranova over Robin Davis. College: Jamaica’s Williams over Dominican Francisco Mendez, 19 in the 3rd. College Women: Jamaica’s Belnavis over Rosenthal. Senior’s: Brenner over Bellak. “Meanwhile,” says Bard, “my sweet red Brandirose complemented our love-rackets weekend by winning her doubles division of the Florida Tennis Association Championships and completed my 40th birthday present of seeing our names side by side in the sports section of the Miami Herald, the South’s largest newspaper.”

            Winners at McLean’s Northern Virginia Club’s June 18-19 Summer Open: Open Singles R.R.: 1. Brian Masters, 3-0. 2. Claes Sturesson, 2-1. 3. Dave Sakai, 1-2—d. Sharpe, -17, 20, 21. 4. Bill Sharpe, 0-3. Women’s Singles: Donna Newell d. Bich Ngoc Tram, 20, 12. U-2250: Sturesson over Sakai after Dave had gotten by Paul Rubas, 19 in the 3rd. U-2050: Larry Hodges over Harry Hawk who’d survived Imre Gonda, 19 in the 3rd. U-1900: Ray Chen over Gonda, 19 in the 3rd. U-1800: Gonda over Steve Johnson who’d escaped Chen, -24, 19, 19. U-3600 Doubles: Newell/Tom Steen over Hawk/Pier Galie.

            U-1700: Al Herr over Erich Haring, after Erich had taken out Johnson, -19, 19, 18. U-1550: Haring over Clyde Alvey. U-1400: Jurgen Dencher over Ben Ebert. U-1200: Robert Fallon over Chris Roth. U-3200 Doubles: John Wetzler/Fallon over Alvey/Haring who’d eliminated Steen/An Chi Tran. U-1000: Josh Friedlander over Stan Brown. Handicap: Warren Wetzler over Ebert. Handicap Doubles: W. Wetzler/Roth over C.J. Williams/Eric Coustry. Senior’s: Alvey over Ken Daniels and James Hawkins. U-17: Sturesson over Tim Poston.

            On June 5th at Columbia, MD the last of the Howard County Circuit Opens was held—and here are the season’s Circuit prize-money winners: 1. Sean O’Neill, $1,000. 2. Rick Seemiller, $200. 3. Barry Dattel, $90—Barry had led Ricky 65-64 points, but Ricky’s 3rd-place finish in this last Open pushed him into 2nd. As for the last five places, nobody could have cared much since there was so little difference in prize money. 4. Igor Fraiman, $30. 5. Brian Masters, $25. 6. Phil Van Dusen, $20. 7. Dave Sakai, $15. 8. John Wetzler, $10.

            Winners at the May 15 Westfield Open: Open Singles: Eric Boggan over B.K. Arunkumar, 16 in the 4th. Open Doubles: Boggan/Brian Eisner over Stephen Mo/Fu-lap Lee.

 A’s: Eyal Adini over Barry Dattel. B’s: Paul Rubas over William Yeh, 14, -10, 20. C’s: W. Yeh over Stephen Yeh. D’s: Marv Plevinsky over Sam Huang. Classes E, F, G: No results. H’s: D. Liu over Mike Seaman. Class I: No result. J’s: H. Matlosz over C. Winters. K’s: Al Matlosz over A. McDaniel. L’s: Bobby Agrawal over H. Teitelbaum. Unrated: Dave Adams over G. Ishmael. Senior’s: George Brathwaite over Hsiang Shou Cheng who’d eliminated Horace Roberts, -14, 19, 19. U-17: Richard Bowling over Rich Sosis in five.

            Results of Northampton Open, played May 21-22 at Florence, MA.: Open Singles: 1. Lim Ming Chui, 3-0. 2. Chris Kalagher, 1-2 (5-7). 3. Wes Daley, 1-2 (5-8—d. Kalagher in five). 4. Robert Oakes, 1-2 (4-8—d. Daley in five). Women’s: Tahnya Percy over Marta Zurowski. U-2000: Daley over Dennis Kaminsky, 22, -18, 20, 17. U-1900: Kalagher over Kaminsky. U-1800: Chi-sun Chui over Oakes. U-1700: Oakes over Jim Warren. U-1600: T. Percy over Gary Brown. U-3200 Doubles: Warren Rasmussen/Dale Clement over Brown/Peter Johnson. U-1500: Roy Clay over Barry Scott. U-1400: Brown over Bill Percy, 12, -20, 19, 21. U-2800 Doubles: Brown/Johnson over Jack Devine/David Austin. U-1300: B. Percy over Clement, 18 in the 4th. U-1200: Devine over M. Zurowski, deuce in the 5th. U-1100: Salvatore Sabitino over Devine. U-1000: Hank Phelps over Austin, deuce in the 4th. U-900: Kasia Zurowski over Michael Loebi in five. U-17: T. Percy over M. Zurowski, 22, -16, 20. U-15: T. Percy over M. Zurowski.

            On the weekend of May 27-29 the Hostos Community College in the Bronx (“Fort Apache” section someone said) put on the most exciting tournament New York has seen since the club (or anti-club) days of Reisman and Gusikoff.

            Wildly enthusiastic spectators—supporting the visiting Dominican and Puerto Rican teams, cheering on attackers Alvarez and Fermin, fiery, gutsy players who represented the Dominican Republic at the Tokyo World’s—interacted with some of the U.S.’s best players in a mutually taunting but generally good-humored exchange to produce a well-attended, greatly enjoyed Hispanic-community activity that I myself thought was wonderful “family day” fun.

            Thanks to Miguel Echevarria, student organizer par excellence, and Operations Director Warren Rasmussen, there was $2,425 in prize money; playing conditions that were good (all nine courts barriered off); and—surprise—free breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the College cafeteria; plus, as the tournament was coming to an end, free beer and soda for the spectators as well as the players!

            Wow, if every tournament were like this, you could bet—you might not win, but you could bet—that super-bland Sports-TV might, in desperation for something new and interesting, would become aware of our sport.

            Results: Men’s Team: Dominican Republic (Mario Alvarez, Raymundo Fermin) d. New York (Fu-lap Lee, George Cameron, Steven Mo), 5-2. Women’s Team: Hostos (Ai-ju Wu, Flora Ng) d. U.S. (Tahnya Percy/Marta Zurowski), 3-0. Open Singles: Eric Boggan d. Fermin, 10, 21, 16. Semi’s: E. Boggan d. Alvarez, 11, 18, 11; Fermin d. B.K. Arunkumar, 20, 12, 14. Quarter’s: E. Boggan d. F. Lee, 13, 12, 11; Alvarez d. Rey Domingo, -12, 19, -12, 19, 18; Arunkumar d. Lim Ming Chui, 19 in the 5th; Fermin d. Scott Boggan, 16 in the 5th. Women’s Singles: Alice Green d. Vicky Wong, 16, 19, 20. Semi’s: Green d. Jasmine Wang, 9, -12, 18, -20, 19; Wong d. Flora Ng, -12, 16, 12, 15. Open Doubles: E./S. Boggan d. Alvarez/Fermin, 20, 16, -14, -21, 18. Semi’s: E.S./Boggan d. Robert Earle/Cameron, 11, 19, -21, 21; Alvarez/Fermin d. F. Lee/Ben Nisbet, 12, 20, -12, 19. Women’s Doubles: Wu/Ng d. Wang/Wong, 20, 23, -17, 18, 14.

            U-2200: Nisbet d. Dave Shapiro. U-2100’s: Ed Hammajian d. Andy Diaz, -21, 21, -16, 15, 17. U-2000: Marv Plevinsky d. David Valoy, 19 in the 3rd, then David Adams in five. U-1900: Valoy d. Wes Daley. U-1800: Adams d. Eduardo Guillen. U-1700: Rich DeWitt d. Freddy Tang. U-1600: Chi-ming Chui d. Steve Rosedale. U-1500: Boaz Sdeor d. C-m Chui. Unrated: Valery d. Adams.

 

Canadian Closed Results (Montreal, May 20-23)

            Men’s Team: Group “A”: 1. Ontario, 5-0/25-2. 2. Quebec, 4-1/22-5. Women’s Team: Group “A”: 1. Quebec, 5-0/25-6. 2. Ontario, 4-1/24-6. Men’s Singles: Zoran Kosanovic d. Joe Ng. Best matches: Stephane Charbonneau d. Paul Judd, -15, 16, -17, 16, 14; Yvan Dolan d. Bert Flisberg, -15, 20, -18, 18, 19; Bao Nguyen d, Chris Chu, -16, 19, 20, 20; Larry Lee d. Cameron Scott, -19, 10, 12, 23. Women’s Singles: Mariann Domonkos d. Thuong Thanh Mach. Best matches: Domonkos d. Gloria Hsu, 10, 14, -8, -19, 16. Julia Johnson d. Helen Simerl, -21, 18, 13, -16, 12.

Men’s Doubles: Kosanovic/Caetano d. Ng/Ming Yuan. Best match: Kosanovic/Caetano d. Nguyen/Horatio Pintea, -18, 15, 11, -15, 15. Women’s Doubles: Domonkos/Micheline Aucoin d. Mach/Hsu, 14, -14, 15, -15, 15. Mixed Doubles: Pintea/Domonkos d. Kosanovic/Hsu. Best matches: Pintea/Domonkos d. Caetano/Mach, 17, -12, 16, -16, 19. Pintea/Domonkos d. Yuan/Johnson, -18, 18, 16, 17. Kosanovic/Hsu d. Ng/Becky McKnight, -12, -17, 17, 7, 13. Ng/McKnight d. Alain Bourbonnais/Aucoin, 19, -13, 15, -18, 17.

Men’s U-2000: Phung Huu Nghia d. Denis Vigeant. Women’s U-1700: Diane Bourdages d. Louise Laroche. Men’s Senior’s: Maurice Moore d. Derek Marsham. Women’s Senior’s: 1. Marie Kerr. Men’s Youth: Pintea d. Ng. Women’s Youth: Mach d. Cindy Choi.

 

Norwich Union Masters (Kingston, Jamaica, May 23-28)

            On Danny Seemiller and Eric Boggan’s arrival in Kingston, they were met by JTTA President Roy Hylton and taken to the Oceano Hotel, where they got settled in their room and then went downstairs to eat. The food was quite decent. However, there was a kind of protocol the waiters observed. With ham and chicken, and just one drink, you could get a sundae for dessert. But if you had steak and a couple of drinks, and asked for a sundae, you’d hear, “That’s extra, mon.” 

            Oh, well—Danny and Eric didn’t come to Kingston to eat and drink. In Group “A” play, Boggan opened the tournament, played Hungary’s Kriston, whom he’d beaten in the 16th’s of the World’s, and though it was close (13-all in the 3rd), Eric got ahead and stayed there.

            In Group “B,” Poland’s Grubba, who was the first European to come up with a good backhand loop, exploited Sweden’s Carlsson’s weak backhand.

            In Group “C,” Seemiller was doing his Tokyo thing against China’s Cai Zhenhua—had the two-time World finalist dead even at 10-all in the 3rd before losing. Danny was placing the ball very well, and was patient and steady. He also got more than enough moral support from his longtime Jamaican friend Fuarnado Roberts who was deliriously cheering him on.

            In Group “D,” Chiu Man Kuen, Hong Kong’s Commonwealth Champion, beat Jonyer, but it was something of a pyrrhic victory, for the Hungarian was anything but intense. He spent most of his time at poolside with a Red Stripe beer in hand.

            Of course after Kriston lost to Eric, he had little interest in his remaining matches. “You practice today?” Eric asked Szolt at poolside. “No practice,” said Szolt, “China. China.” He meant he’d played Jiang Jialiang. Won the first game too. And so, later, did Eric, countering to Jiang’s backhand before World #5 speeded up the pace.

            In Group “C,” Chiu blocked Kalinic all over the place—this despite the Yugoslav’s strange long-arm topspin that forces the ball to rotate wide away from his opponent. After Seemiller lost to Hungary’s Molnar, he had to face Prean, and tried to play to the young Englishman’s forehand. He was repeatedly at a disadvantage, though, because he couldn’t see the ball when Carl gave him a behind-the-back serve, and often as not would have a lot of trouble returning Prean’s wait…wait…wait, rhythm-destroying pips-out backhand serve. He’d push ball after ball into the net.

            Though Prean looks old and scholarly for his 15 years, it may be that he’s not really nerdish, not to someone who knows him. Fellow Englishman Skylet Andrews said to him, “You must have some wonker ordering all those drinks.”

            Against Ernest Virgo, Eric made a Jamaican name for himself. And this despite Fuarnado’s repeated dire warnings to the contrary. “Don’t do it, Eric!” said Robbie. “Don’t do it!” And then, “Don’t do it!” And then again, “Don’t do it!”

            Later, Boggan was mildly reprimanded by ITTF President Roy Evans for not being more politic. “I think I played pretty well,” responded Eric. Well, yes, but what did Eric DO that maybe he shouldn’t have?...Oh. He beat Jamaican National, Virgo, 21-0…. And, no, the Jamaican fans didn’t threaten to string him up--they loved it!

            In the quarter’s, Wang Huiyuan controlled the match against Boggan. “He could do anything he liked against me,” Eric said, “If I dropped it anyplace, he was there, and even ready to flat-hit pick on the backhand. Wang may just be the best player I’ve ever played in my life.”

            Against Kalinic, Wang was missing combinations and feeling the strength of the Yugoslav’s backhand. But he still found a way to win. It seemed, as it had to Mike Bush a year or two ago, that nobody could beat him, except perhaps a fellow Chinese.

            Chiu downed Prean with some beautiful blocks—but the second game went deuce.

            Cai had no problem with Grubba. But in the semi’s he lost to the eventual winner Chiu who’d been training in China, and here in Jamaica had been ordering food with the Chinese.

            Cai was in an acrobatic mood—did some cartwheels—and even when he lost to Chiu (too many balls to his “weak” backhand?) he was all smiles, even gave out sheets of Friendship rubber to players and officials. Astonishingly, he was wearing (inside out) the James Dean shirt Scott Boggan had given him.