Walter Rapp Tournament

Hartford Tennis Club

July 30-August 2


The Walter Rapp tournament started off ominously on Friday with torrential rains forcing play indoors on hard court. This caused one dropout in the 70 singles; Bob Schmitz from Scotia, NY did not want to jeopardize his “new” artificial knees on the hard court. The rain was coming down so hard that the 65 singles match between Townsend Gilbert and Dag Williamson, who were on a court with an outside wall, was interrupted by water leaking onto the court. After much toweling up of water, they gave up and went to another court.


The weather cooperated on Saturday, however, and there was some great tennis played. Draws were some of the highest the tournament has had in recent years with 23 in 55 singles, 13 in 65 singles, 9 in 70 singles, 11 in 75 singles, and 4 in 80 singles. Doubles draws were more variable; 3 teams in 55s, 2 teams in 65s, 6 teams in 70s, 3 teams in 75s and 5 teams in the 80s.


There were some very close matches in the 55 singles. In the first round indoors on Friday, Rich Klaffky defeated Hany Teylouni 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 in 4 ½ hours! Rich then lost in the next round to Mike Ellman on Saturday morning 6-3, 6-2. Unseeded Mike Kliebhan had a great run with all his matches except his first round very close. In the 2nd round, he defeated Randall Kennedy 7-6(5), 6-4. In the quarters, he defeated 2nd seed Bill Frost 7-6, 2-6, 7-6. In the semis, he defeated 4th seed Paul Shaw 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 but lost to 1st seed Phil Kadesch in the finals 6-0, 4-6, 6-4. In 55 doubles, the local team of Jerry Fort and Larry Hutnick defeated 1st seeds Pete Allen and Tommie George in the finals 6-2, 6-4


In 65 singles, 1st seed Paul Fein dominated except for his 1st round match with unseeded Walt Sadowski which he won 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Paul then defeated 4th seed Strickland Wheelock 6-0, 6-0 in the semis and 2nd seed Dan Wszolek, last year’s winner, 6-1, 6-1. In the 65 doubles, 1st seeds John Swan and Ted Underwood defeated local team Rob Garfinkel and Michael Gerich 6-1, 6-0 in the only doubles match.


The big story in the 70s was Nick Ourusoff.  In the 70 singles, he was the 1st seed and defeated Roy Anderson in the finals 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.  He also played doubles with Whitey Joslin and as an unseeded team defeated 2nd seeds Ray Brodeur and Ken Miller 6-3, 6-4 and then went on to defeat 1st seeds Roy Anderson and Bob Dilworth in the finals 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-4. Of course, Nick had a great doubles legend in Whitey Joslin as a partner. However, Nick more than held his own in doubles and many people watching said they had never seen Anderson and Dilworth lose a doubles match before.


In the 75 singles, 1st seed Don Frahm defeated 2nd seen George Boyce in the finals in a close three setter 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. In the doubles, 1st seeds Bill Schmid and Ernie Uthgenannt defeated Boyce and Dick Mount in the finals 6-4, 7-5.


In the 80 singles, 1st seed Marvin Sears defeated Yutaka Kobayashi in the finals 6-3, 6-4. Sears also won the doubles partnering with Irving Levine as 1st seeds defeating Kobayashi and Bix Shoemaker in the finals 6-4, 7-5. It is noteworthy to see the 80 draws so large with 4 in the singles and 6 doubles teams!


As is usual at the Walter Rapp tournament, the amenities are outstanding. Snacks, beer wine and soft drinks were provided throughout the tournament and lunch was provided on Saturday. Many people came to watch the good play who were not in the tournament and the players also saw some great tennis and enjoyed the refreshments when they were not playing.


Some photos from the tournament are below.


55 singles winner Phil Kadesch with finalist Mike Kliebhan

55 doubles winners Larry Hutnick and Jerry Fort

Asst. TD Brad Blanchard with 65 singles winner Paul Fein and finalist Dan Wszolek

70 singles finalist Roy Anderson with winner Nick Ourusoff


70 doubles winners Whitey Joslin and Nick Ourusoff with finalists Roy Anderson and Bob Dilworth

75 singles finalist George Boyce with winner Don Frahm and their wives

75 doubles finalists Dick Mount and George Boyce with winners Ernie Uthgenannt andBill Schmid

Asst. TD Brad Blanchard with 80 singles winner Marvin Sears and finalist Yutaka Kobayashi

80 doubles winners Marvin Sears and Irving Levine with finalists Yutaka Kobayashi and Bix Shoemaker

Hanging out watching good tennis - LR Dan Wszolek, Ann Murphy, Roy Anderson, George

Torrey and Roland Joyal