News from Around Banderas Bay | August 2007
|Guadalajara Dominates 23rd Copa Canto del Sol Results|
Bob Cohen - PVNN
Warm weather and hot competition scorched the courts at the Canto del Sol Tennis Club in Puerto Vallarta from July 31st-Aug 5th. After a week full of action, final matches of the 23rd Copa Canto del Sol Tennis Tournament were played on Saturday.
|On the left, the winner of the professional tournament Javier Becera of Guadalajara with finalist Francisco Vargas after the feature match of the tournament concluded.|
|The youngsters show off their plaques with tournament officials and the two professional finalists surrounding them.|
|The winners of the hotly contested "A" doubles Duncan Forbes of Puerto Vallarta on the left with playing partner Sergio Ruvalcaba of Guadalajara.|
|The women's "B" champion on the left is Lorena Ruiz of Puerto Vallarta after defeating opponent Rosa Elena Sevilla of Guadalajara. Lorena is a favorite of local Vallarta players and usually plays with the guys at the "B" level.|
|After a grueling 2 1/2 hour semifinal match, Puerto Vallarta's Esteban Said on the right outlasted Jose Manuel Martinez of Guadalajara in a match that both deserved to win the Boys 16 division.|
|In the Mens "B" final Ismael Fernandez on the right defeated Jesus Lopez in a close final that was played in "A" caliber. Both players are from Guadalajara.|
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Play concluded in Puerto Vallarta after a week full of action, and culminated on a busy day Saturday that included all the final matches. A large crowd mostly from Guadalajara and another large group from Tepic made the trip, enjoying the action from the stands, and those that competed enjoyed taking home most of the trophies.
Seven of the eight courts were utilized, three hard courts which hosted most adult matches as well as the four clay courts where many of the youngsters competed in the concurrently running Copa Grupo 3 event.
The age groups were 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 for both boys and girls and also included doubles play. The divisions in the adult Copa were AA, A, B, C and D for men and B, C and D for the ladies and included doubles play as well.
The weather was a big factor in many matches, as the heat and humidity of Puerto Vallarta was extremely draining and players cramped often and many played to exhaustion. The thermometer read highs of 92-93 degrees most afternoons, but factoring in the humidity raised the heat index to 115 almost every afternoon.
Those that played under the tarp that covers the hard courts experienced the summer dead air that increased on court heat to 125 degrees. After coming off the hard courts, walking into the 93 degree heat felt like air conditioning.
Guadalajara is also over a mile above sea level and adjustments had to be made by players. At the lower altitude balls are hit much heavier, where in a higher altitude balls that were hit deep to the baseline here could fly many feet deep due to the thinner air. The players did have the benefit however, even though the heat was brutal, the ability to experience more endurance as higher altitudes keeps people shorter of breath. I guess it might have been a tradeoff for the players.
In the AA professional division that began at noon, the top two seeds met in the finals. Javier Becerra, the top seed went into Saturday's final against the 2nd seed Francisco Vargas, both of Guadalajara. Becerra had an easier time reaching the finals having to play one less match than his opponent. Becerra had a first round bye as Vargas had to play an extra match.
Both won every set they played in heading to the finals. The match was pure tennis from a technical standpoint. The two are students of the game and their groundstrokes were well calculated and there were no weaknesses in their games. The top seed Becerra won the close match that included rallies of over 30 shots on many points in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
Saturday morning began at 8:00 am with singles finals, a relief from the heat for the players. Playing on Court 1 were the "A" finalists and Joel Ibarra of Tepic defeated Guillermo De La Monja of Michioacan in a close straight set victory of 6-4, 6-3.
Court 2 hosted the "D" finals and if these two finalists played in Vallarta they could have won a "C" division in a local tournament. Josef Purro of Tepic easily defeated Gabriel Sanchez of Guadalajara 6-2, 6-1.
Court 3 had a long competitive final in the "C" division with two Guadalajara players that used contrasting styles. Raul Rios utilized a power game and Jorge Romero played a more consistent game, returning almost every shot that didn't get past him. After many long points and an exciting match, Romero claimed the "C" title with a close 6-3, 7-5 victory.
The "B" finals were held after the first early final was completed and the two competitors from Guadalajara might have been in disguise, as play was as good and intense as any "A" match. A bigger and stronger Ismael Fernandez played a worthy smaller, scrappier opponent in Jesus Lopez. After taking a tough 7-5 first set Fernandez finished the match out with a 6-3 second set for the championship. The 96 points earned by Fernandez moved him into the points lead in the "B" division in the ATJ (Jalisco Tennis Association.)
In the women's finals, the "B" championship was won by Puerto Vallarta's Lorena Ruiz, who defeated Rosa Elena Sevilla in two rather easy sets 6-4, 6-1. Rosa Elena earned enough points in defeat to move atop the points lead in women's "B." Lorena, who plays against the guys in the "B" division in local tournaments, could clearly be the leader in Jalisco, but this is the only tournament played in Puerto Vallarta and is virtually impossible for any Vallartenese to be ranked in Jalisco. Congratulations Lorena!
In the women's "C" division Eva Miranda easily won her division and didn't even need to play a final as she accumulated enough points and a final match wouldn't have altered the outcome. The tightest singles final was in the women's "D" division where Cathy Mavrolas and Rosalba Gutierrez split 6-4 sets before Cathy prevailed in a tough 7-5 third and final set.
In doubles, a much awaited "A" finals was played in the heat of the afternoon and included three Vallarta players. A large crowd watched Court 1 action as Duncan Forbes of Vallarta and his partner Sergio Ruvalcabo of Guadalajara took on Jorge Joya and Raul Lopez, both of Vallarta. The match was intense right from the start and those that were in attendance showed their appreciation. Joya and Lopez fell behind early but rallied for a first set 6-4 lead. Again the team of Forbes and Ruvalcabo ran off to a 4-1 second set lead, but Jorge and Raul tied it at 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6, forcing a tiebreak. Duncan and Sergio took the tiebreak 7-2 and evened the match, going to a final set. Joya and Lopez got as close as 2-3 before Forbes and Ruvalcabo ran the set out at 6-3 and the "A" doubles championship in a thriller.
Other mens doubles results:
• Men's "B" - Champions - Carlos Muñoz and Ismael Fernandez
• Men's "C" - Champions - Guillermo Garcia and Gerardo Garcia
The kids had a diffficult Saturday, as they had to play both semifinal and final matches on the same day to win their divisions. The youngsters all put on quite a show for the spectators and families in attendance. Many could have been quite competitive in the adult division had they chose to play, but one could enter only one of the tournaments.
The 10-year-old division had a couple of youngsters who displayed amazing power and court presence for such young players. Pablo Guerra dominated Manual Guerra in the final to win 6-1, 6-1. In the 12 year old division, a local Puerto Vallarta youngster Jerry Lopez easily defeated Huemberto Angulo of Sinaloa 6-3, 6-1 to the delight of the crowd. Jerry has a bright future and at 12 he towers over his opponents. In the 14 year old division, Santiago Peña of Tepic defeated Cesar Alvarez in a close match 7-5, 6-4.
The 16-year-old division final featured Esteban Said of Puerto Vallarta against Francisco Gutierrez of Guadalajara. Said, just hours earlier won a marathon semifinal match over Jose Manuel Martinez of Guadalajara 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 and had to dig deep just to play the finals. Said lost in the finals to Gutierrez, obviously exhausted after playing singles and doubles before the match.
The 18-year-old division final was won by Rafael Ornelas of Guadalajara over Tepic's Dario Peña 6-1, 6-4. I hadn't seen Dario in a year when he won the 18 year old single and doubles. He might have missed playing time with an injury, causing the use of a heavy wrist support and didn't hit the ball with the power or authority as before. Peña also appeared to have gained 25-30 pounds.
The 23rd Copa Canto Del Sol is finished and the courts once again belong to local Puerto Vallarta players and tourists that brave the weather. The tournament was a smashing success and enjoyed by all. Hector Martinez, Supervisor of the ATJ and FMT did a superb job of coordinating play along with Canto Del Sol Tennis Director Martin Parra.
General Manager of the Canto Del Sol Resort and tennis player, Rene Rodriguez, oversaw all aspects of the event from the courts to the resort. The tennis staff that was vital to the event and deserve kudos are tennis pros, Polo Martinez, Leonardo "Chino" Lopez and Jesus Martinez.