2006 USTA NATIONAL OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
USTA National Tennis Center - Flushing Meadow Park, New York
November 24-27, 2005
Monday, November 27, 2006-Final Day
With the finals and third place playoff matches right next to each other, I was able to catch the action on both. Konrad Zieba and Jared Hiltzik, who both train in Illinois with Coach Jacek Dabrowski, played a baseline battle the first set with Konrad the clear 6-2 winner. In the second, he had to work for his win as Jared played some nice net points. There were some rallies back and fourth but, despite his No. 1 seeding, Jared was just slightly outplayed and Konrad Zieba had his third National title in a row.
After the match it was all smiles for both as Bill Mountford, NTC's Director of Tennis, led the two and their coach on a tour through Arthur Ashe Stadium. The tour, which included my first trip to the men's locker room (!) also went through the Interview Room and had a photo op in the stadium itself.
In the third place playoff, Tyler Gardiner* picked up another accolade to go with his doubles trophy (with partner Jeffrey Schorsch). The match, which was much closer than the 6-1,6-1 score showed, gave the Michigan native a chance to show off the net play that brought him the doubles win. Noah Rubin (pictured left) the sole hometown player remaining among the finishers, had a number of winners of his own, though not enough for the ten year old to get past the No. 2 seed.
There is no doubt that the level of play among juniors is going up as I've witnessed watching the 12s each year. I look forward to trying to catch more of this group at next year's National Open.
*Tyler had a plane to catch and left before I was able to get his picture.
Until next year,
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