3PM – Kinzler def. I. Ronaldson  6-2, 6-4
4PM – Dodgson def.  Merola  5-6, 6-3, 6-0
5:15PM – Hopton def. J. Motz 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
6:30PM – Smart def. McBride 6-0, 6-3

9AM – Riviere def. Hopton 6-1, 6-5
10AM – Howell def. Dodgson 6-1, 6-3
11:15AM – Medlow def. Smart 6-0, 6-4
12:30PM – Lumley def. Kinzler 6-2, 6-1

4PM – Riviere def. Howell 6-1. 6-3
5:15PM – Medlow def. Lumley 6-3, 6-3

11AM Final – Camden Riviere def. Conor Medlow 6-0, 6-1, 6-1

Prince’s Court hosted the 2016 National Open, a tournament held for U.S. based professionals and top amateurs.  The field featured familiar names such as World Champion Camden Riviere and defending champion John Lumley, however, there were also unusual names such as our Head Professional Ivan Ronaldson, top rackets player Will Hopton, and the new-to-Chicago Conor Medlow.  All of this resulted in an entertaining mix of play and styles throughout the weekend to the delight of the spectators.  Early round highlights seemed to favor home court advantage as Washington amateur John Motz took a set off of Will Hopton, Washington assistant pro Nino Merola went three sets with Tuxedo’s Josh Dodgson and the highly anticipated return to tournament play of oft-injured Ivan Ronaldson to play two tight sets against the scrappy Gabe Kinzler.

The first semifinal was a Newport-centric affair, as current Newport Assistant Professional Nicky Howell took on his old boss, former Newport Head Professional Camden Riviere.  Howell made the final last year and has been training with Riviere’s personal trainer in Newport, so his confidence was high going in, but Riviere established control early and never gave Howell a chance to get into the match.  Howell was able to make inroads late in the match but it was too little too late.  Riviere advanced with a  6-1, 6-3 win.  The second semifinal saw Philadelphia’s John Lumley (the #2 seed) take on Chicago’s Conor Medlow (the #4 seed).  Lumley was trying to reach his second straight National Open Final and many felt that his recent training with Riviere would make that a realty, however Medlow had a different idea.  Lumley came out sharp but Medlow seemed to be able to defend most of Lumley’s quality shots and then somehow turn those points around and conjure winners out of thin air.  The consensus in the crowd was that Lumley would be able to get going at some point in the match and then use his quickness to wait out the seemingly infallible Medlow, but Medlow’s hot streak never really stopped and  Medlow defeated Lumely 6-3, 6-3 in the first “upset” of the tournament,

With Medlow’s unexpected win in the semis, speculative whispers around the club wondered if Medlow could replicate his magical semifinal performance against the World Champion.  Unfortunately for Conor, the answer was no.  Riviere raised his game to a higher level in the Final and it appeared Medlow was exhausted both physically and mentally from his semifinal effort.  The National Open always seems to springboard a player to the forefront of the game and this year was no different.  Conor Medlow served notice that he will be heard from going forward and Riviere reminded Medlow and the rest of the field what the highest level of the game looks like.  All of these matches were streamed and can be seen on the USCTA YouTube page.

A big thank you goes to the Grassi Family for their support of the professionals and this year’s National Open.

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