Walter Rapp Tournament Threatened by Rain but it Held Off


The Walter Rapp tournament in West Hartford, CT started on Thursday, 7/26 with a note on the tournament home page that rain was predicted but that indoor backup had been arranged and to come on time. Luckily, the indoor backup was not needed and play commenced on the very well groomed clay courts of the Hartford Tennis Club.


However, there was a plague of injuries and retirees as the weather was hot and very humid. On Thursday, Margo Chase-Wells retired in her 60 singles match against Rollie Ernst. After winning the 1st set 6-3, she retired in the 2nd at 4-5. Rollie’s husband Dick played a three hour 70 singles match losing in three sets to Dick Mangi. However, that took so much out of Mangi that he defaulted his next match on the following day. Hobie Hyde won his 70 singles match against Jim Rauch 6-3, 6-3 but then pulled up injured and defaulted both his next singles match and the men's 70 doubles.


There were some great matches, however. The 55 men's singles final between 1st seed Wade Frame and 2nd seed Bill Frost (Frosty) was of great quality with Frame prevailing in the end 7-6, 7-5. They finished Saturday just before the rains came so there were no matches rained out needing rescheduling. In men's 65 singles, 2nd seed Wint Filipek easily defeated 1st seed Rick Klaffky in the final 6-1, 6-0. In men's 70 singles quarters, unseeded Kan Miller gave 2nd seed Roy Anderson a tough 1st set, losing 7-6. Roy upped his game in the 2nd winning 6-0 to take the match. Roy went on to defeat 3rd seed Ray Brodeur in the semis 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the finals against #1 NE ranked 70 singles player Nick Orusoff. Orusoff prevailed to win the 70 singles 6-3, 6-4.


55 singles winner Wade Frame with tournament helper Brad Blanchard and finalist Bill Frost

Brad Blanchard with 65 singles finalist Rick Klaffky and winner Wint Filipek

70 singles finalist Roy Anderson with winner Nick Orusoff



In men's 75 singles, Mal Swanson backed into the final as his 1st opponent, Bob Schmitz, was another injury default. Mal played 1st seed Bill Schmid in the finals and Schmid came out the winner 6-0, 6-4. Women's 50 singles had three entries so the draw was set up round robin to give each player two matches. Unfortunately, one entry backed out leaving only one match in which Lynn Kaufman defeated Sarah Gladstone from Michigan 6-2, 6-2. In the women's 60 singles final, Dorcas Miller defeated 1st seed Elizabeth Endicott in a close match 7-5, 6-4 to take the title.


Men's 75 singles winner Bill Schmid with runner up Mal Swanson

Women's 50 singles finalist Sarah Gladstone with winner Lynn Kaufman

Women's 60 singles winner Dorcas Miller with finalist Elizabeth Endicott


On to doubles -- men's 65 doubles was played Thursday and Friday to allow the players in the Atlantic Coast Cup to be able to play and then go off to the Cup matches on the weekend. In the finals, 1st seeds Pete Allen and Tommie George defeated unseeded Ted Underwood and Pat Rossetti 7-5, 6-1 to take the title. Underwood and Rossetti upset 2nd seeds Dave Fuller and Ken Wall 6-4, 6-2 in the semis to make it to the finals. In men's 70 doubles, unseeded Whitey Joslin and Tom Diehl defeated 2nd seeds Roy Anderson and Bob Dilworth in a very tight semis match 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to move on to the finals against 1st seeds Nick Orusoff and George Lynch. However, Lynch pulled a muscle after the 1st game and retired giving the title to Diehl and Joslin 1-0 ret. There were only two teams in men's 75 doubles and Lowry and Schmid defeated Grayson and Robinson 6-0, 6-0 for the title.


65 men's doubles finalists Pat Rossetti & Ted Underwood with Brad Blanchard and winners Pete Allen & Tommie George

75 men's doubles winners Bill Schmid and Dave Lowry


Women's 50 doubles winners Kim Murphy-Francis and her mother Ann Murphy with Brad Blanchard and 50 doubles player Ann Marie Schumsky


There were three teams entered in women's 50 doubles and they played round robin. Interestingly, one team was actually mother and daughter. Mother Ann Murphy is over 70! She and daugter Kim Murphy-Francis won both their matches defeating Barbara Clark and Holly Schaefer 6-1, 6-1 and Vicki Brown and Ann Marie Schumsky 6-1, 6-2 to take the title. Women's 60 doubles also had three entries and was played round robin. The team of Dorcas Miller and Lynn Miller (no relation) defeated Rollie Ernst and Julie Sanford 6-0, 6-2 and Margo Chase-Wells and Elizabeth Endicott 6-0, 6-2 for the title.


On left: Women's 60 doubles finalists Margo Chase-Wells and Elizabeth Endicott with Brad Blanchard and winners Lynn Miller and Dorcas Miller


On right: Spectators enjoying the play as well as the plentiful eats, beer, wine and soft drinks.


As usual at the Walter Rapp tournament, there was great hospitality as lunch was provided on Saturday and plenty of food and drink was available at all times. A tub of beer, wine and soft drinks provided good refreshment after playing and when watching the great matches. A great time was had by all and the rain even held off!