Walter Rapp Tournament Again a Big Success


The Walter Rapp tournament at the Hartford Tennis Club in West Hartford, CT on the last weekend of July was again a big success this year. There are five men’s age divisions in the tournament: 55, 65, 70, 75 and 80 in both singles and doubles. There were a total of 56 total participants for all the events.


The tournament historically has had some of the best amenities of any tournament. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available on all the days of the tournament, and lunch was provided on Saturday and Sunday. Tournament Director Ben Bishop and "host" Brad Blanchard made all players feel welcomed. There was a constant audience watching the outstanding competition including many of the players’ wives.


Late Saturday afternoon, rain came forcing a few doubles matches indoors at the nearby Bloomfield Indoor Tennis Club, which has two indoor clay courts. This allowed the play to continue on clay.


In the 55 singles, two unseeded players, Mike Lustig and Jon Wilson made it through to the finals and Jon won a very tough two set win by a score of 7-6, 6-4. Mike also had a very tough semifinal match with Glen Mayberry, prevailing 6-0, 4-6, 6-3.  The 55 doubles had only two teams, with Rob Miller and Paul Shaw prevailing 6-2, 6-3.


In the 65 singles, Ithaca, NY native Dan Wszolek dominated play, winning without losing a set and was almost untouchable in the finals with a score of 6-0, 6-1.  The 65 doubles, in contrast, was very close with eventual winners Ted Underwood and John Swan defeating first seeds Ken Baker and Rob Garfinkel 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the semis. Underwood and Swan then went on to defeat 2nd seeds Ray Brodeur (from HTC) and Ken Miller in the finals 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in another very close three setter.


The 70 singles final was also a big battle, with new 70 Bruce Cassella defeating Roy Anderson 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.  Both Cassella and Anderson won their semifinal matches easily. George Torrey won the consolation singles over Gene Kolankowski. In the 70 doubles final, Roy Anderson and Bob Dilworth defeated Tom Larkin and Omer Menard 6-3, 7-6(3).


The 75 singles had a draw of eight, with 1st seed Bill Schmid defeating 2nd seed Ernie Uthgenannt 6-4, 7-5 in the finals. Schmid and Uthgenannt teamed up in the doubles to defeat 1st seeds George Boyce and Dick Mount in the finals 6-2, 7-5.


The 80s were not to be outdone. The 80 singles had a draw of six, with 1st seed Yukata Kobayashi defeating 2nd seed Larry Hague in a spirited final match 7-6(4), 6-4.  Hague and Kobayashi teamed up in the doubles winning in the finals over HTC host Brad Blanchard and Marvin Sears 6-2, 6-4.


Pictures from the tournament are below. Note the top three pictures were taken on the indoor courts where these matches were played.


55 doubles finalists Michael Gerich/George Petrykevych with winners Paul Shaw/Rob Miller

80 doubles winners Larry Hague/Yutaka Kobayashi   with finalists Marvin Sears/Brad Blanchard

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

55 singles finalist Mike Lustig and winner Jon Wilson with host Brad Blanchard

65 singles finalist Ray Brodeur (from HTC) and winner Dan Wszolek

70 singles winner Bruce Cassella with finalist Roy Anderson

75 singles finalist Ernie Uthgenannt with host Brad Blanchard and winner Bill Schmid

80 singles winner Yutaka Kobayashi with finalist Larry Hague

65 doubles finalists Ray Brodeur/Ken Miller with winners Ted Underwood/John Swan


George Torrey in action


70 doubles finalists Tom Larkin/Omer Menard with winners Roy Anderson and Bob Dilworth


That is some toss!


Relaxing with food, drink, wives, friends and good tennis!