by John Lumley
We had a fantastic draw for this year’s U.S. 50’s hosted by the Racquet Club of Philadelphia. Special shout out to John Prenn & Alexander Anton that came over from the UK to play. Friday’s matches saw the seeding to plan and the match of the day was between John Madzin & Sewall Hodges. Madzin took the first set 6-5 after being 5-2 up. Hodges fought back with some lovely control and serving to take the second set 6-5. Tied at 1 set all Madzin used his experience and length to put Hodges under too much pressure and took the final set 6-4. Saturday morning saw an interesting match in the doubles with Cohen & Tanfield taking the first set against Van Schaack & Clement 6-1. Van Schaack & Clement had other ideas in the second set and fought back to take it 6-1, tied at 1 set all Cohen & Tanfield stuck to the game plan and with some superb volleys took the final set 6-5!
With Soffer & Prenn both playing great Tennis they worked their way through the pack to meet each other in the final of the singles. Prenn started strong taking an early lead in the first set and kept the foot on the gas to take it 6-0. Soffer eager to get back into the match tied it up at 1 game all in the second but Prenn with his great pace off the forehand and backhand side kept the pressure on and didn’t let up. He stormed to a 4-1 lead where Soffer found a few good serves and put some nice volleys away to take it to 4-2. Prenn seeing the light at the end of the tunnel rolled some awesome backhands to take the final 2 games to win 6-0 6-2 and become the 2017 U.S. 50’s Singles Champion!
Vogt & Manges took down Prenn & Anton in a nail bitter in the semis. 5 games all first set and Manges played some great volleys past their opponents. Vogt also had a crucial grille defense to keep them ahead in the 5 all game and they won the first 6-5. With momentum and confidence in their favor Vogt & Manges kept the pressure on and won the second set 6-1 to secure their spot in the final. In the other half of the draw Soffer & Hill had been very steady & won their semi final against Cohen & Tanfield 6-1 6-3. Cohen & Tanfield put up a good fight in the second set pushing with some great forcing from Cohen but it wasn’t enough to stop Soffer and Hill taking it 6-3. With an all Philadelphia Doubles final Soffer & Hill came out the gate on fire taking the first set 6-0. Vogt & Manges turned it round to take an early 3-0 lead in the second set winning crucial points but Soffer & Hill knuckled down and went on a 6-game winning streak to take the title 6-0 6-3 and become the 2017 U.S. 50’s Doubles Champions.