An Autumn of Firsts for AMTAOCTOBER Nation’s Cup Gold for the Women in MaltaNOVEMBER Inaugural National Championships and an AMTA Fall Classic
at the USTA Campus
SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 5
For the first time ever, the U.S. women captured the Nation’s Cup at the WMTS meeting in early October on the historic island of Malta. Led by newcomers Christin Tiegs-Heiden and Mary Firek, and anchored by the stalwart Vicky McEvoy, the women first beat youthful defending champion Lithuania 2-1 in a late-night, rain-plagued semi, then went on to top Poland 2-1 in the exciting final. Newcomer Roy Bryan and veterans Bruce Dalkin and Art Lee led the Nation’s Cup men’s team past a strong Finnish team 2-1 in the first round and then, following a superb singles win by Paul Hoffstein,Art and Bruce lost a dramatic doubles match to perennial finalist Italy in the second round. Oh so close!
Team USA totaled 31 players in Malta, with a number of first-time participants to the international competition. Mid-week thunderstorms played unfortunate havoc with match scheduling and forced organizers to shorten many matches to one 10-point super-tiebreaker on the final day. The WMTS spirit of international competition endured, however, brought into focus by the words of the President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, who arrived with fanfare to present the Nation’s Cup trophy at the final night’s Awards Dinner. President Preca spoke eloquently of how the commonality of sport brings cultures together and praised the physicians for their role in caring for the world’s sick, then presented the gleaming Nation’s Cup trophy to US Women’s Captain Bonnie Sidoff and her beaming team.
Between raindrops, there were a host of memorable matches and events.
A much improved Bruce Dalkin, who surprised even himself, winning 55+ singles.
Paul Hoffstein’s powerful, dogged play throughout the tournament, nearly besting the legendary German Olaf Harder.
Peter Monsantofils’ first international gold (and partner Bonnie Sidoff’s 20th or so) defeating perennial Swedish favorites Lars and Ann Hagberg in the final.
A gutsy, determined three-hour singles match between Ginger Alden and Robin Dierenfield.
The steady, smart play of Mary Firek who, after pitching in to squeegee the court during a rain delay, simply gave a clinic in how women’s doubles should be played.
The excellent lectures given by cardiology resident Eivind Aabel and radiologists Christin Tiegs-Heiden and Luba Frank, who cleverly used a tennis racquet “pointer” in her lecture on imaging the heart of the athlete.
The early morning and oh-so-romantic Blue Grotto marriage proposal that made our adopted Norwegians Eivind Aabel and Magdalena Todorow an officially engaged couple – congratulations!
The family reunion enjoyed by Scott Treatman and Linda Lemay, who happily combined their first WMTS meeting with a visit to their son and daughter-in-law, who make their home on Malta.
The unfortunate bicep injury suffered by Randy Eckert in his first round match, thwarting what promised to be some good results with wife Dawn.
Despite the scheduling miscues, the American team’s results were impressive, with 14 of 16 final day tiebreakers won, led by Vicky McEvoy’s 8 for 8 in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. The unusual format added up to a total medal count of 39 for the Americans.
GOLD 55+ Men’s Singles
Bruce Dalkin 50+ Women’s Singles
Vicky McEvoy Non-MD Women’s Open Singles
Lisa Hoffstein Non-MD 60+ Women’s Singles
Robin Dierenfield Women’s Open Doubles
Vicky McEvoy and Christin Tiegs-Heiden 55+ Women’s Doubles
Bonnie Sidoff and Monika Dalkin 60+ Women’s Doubles
Mary Firek and Robin Dierenfield 50+ Mixed Doubles
Vicky McEvoy and Art Lee 55+ Mixed Doubles
Bruce and Monika Dalkin 65+ Mixed Doubles
Bonnie Sidoff and Peter Monsantofils 70+ Mixed Doubles
Cori and John Kirkpatrick
BRONZE Women’s Open Singles
Christin Tiegs-Heiden 65+ Women’s Singles
Jacqui Davis Men’s Open Doubles
Roy Bryan and Gabe Fornari 55+ Men’s Doubles
Art Lee and Bruce Dalkin 60+ Men’s Doubles
Paul Hoffstein and Mike Dawson 65+ Men’s Doubles
Charlie Alden and John Kirkpatrick 75+ Men’s Doubles
Dennis Dierenfield and Amorn Salyapongse 65+ Women’s Doubles
Ginger Alden and Cori Kirkpatrick 65+ Mixed Doubles
Jacqui Davis and Lindsey Horenblas
NOVEMBER 9 to 11
They came from coast to coast to test their skills against the best tennis-playing medical professionals in the country. It was the inaugural North American Medical Tennis Championships, held at the beautiful new USTA National Campus in Orlando, and the athleticism on display was impressive. Players competed in two divisions on the immaculate clay courts, Open and Over 55. The Open Singles competitors played a grueling “Fast Fours” format, an 8-person round robin of 25-minute matches, that became an endurance contest in the hot Florida sun. With 16 players in the Over 55+ Division, participants played a full compass draw. Sunday’s finals featured a lineup of former collegiate players in both divisions who rose to the occasion with some spectacular, memorable play.
CME lectures were very well received, with physicians from the nearby Nemours Childrens Hospital, the medical staff at the USTA National Campus and the Society for Tennis Medicine and Science sharing their views on mainly tennis medicine topics.
The response to the inaugural event was uniformly positive, with players appreciating the unique camaraderie and great competition, and all are deputized to recruit other high-level players for a return to the USTA Campus in November of 2019.
OPEN DIVISION SINGLES Gold Stefan Hartmann, PA Melbourne, FL Silver Phil Diaz, MD Ohio State University
OPEN DIVISION DOUBLES Gold Jamie Saben, MD San Diego, CA
Neeru Jayanthi, MD Atlanta, GA Silver Bradly Goodman, MD Birmingham, AL
Michael Byman Melbourne Beach, FL
OPEN DIVISION MIXED DOUBLES Gold Erin Boynton, MD Toronto, Canada
Neeru Jayanthi, MD Atlanta, GA Silver Courtney Jenkins, PT Atlanta, GA
Reza Ghorbani, MD Chevy Chase, MD
It was more than the opportunity to play at the shiny new home of American tennis, more than the color and flair added by our Peruvian and Norwegian friends from WMTS who joined us, more than the sunny, warm Florida skies, more than the camaraderie enjoyed by the many members who are making AMTA meetings a tradition, more than another thought-provoking and cutting-edge CME program, and more than the mysterious manipulation of the Team Tennis match schedule by tournament guru and AMTA President Bruce Dalkin, who lined up multiple fun, competitive matches for the more than 50 tennis-playing attendees on a daily basis. Whatever “it” was, this very congenial group shared rides to the venue, laughter over lunch, noisy conversations at meals and a good old-fashioned time together, with a lot of competitive tennis thrown in for good measure.
With space constraints, here are just a few of the highlights …
The entertaining story told by Toronto orthopedist, and former BlueJays team doctor, Erin Boynton about being the only female in a group of medical personnel who gathered around visiting NY Yankee Derek Jeter following a collision at home plate; while the radio announcer thought a woman had been sent out to “console Jeter”, she was only one in the group the who knew how to pop his dislocated shoulder back into place, and calmly did so.
The courtside aerobic routine practiced by Peruvian singles champion Mariella Abuid prior to each match, and of course the more comical imitation of it by President Bruce Dalkin.
The shared birthday celebration on the outdoor patio at Bosphorus enjoyed by Christian Jackson and another visiting Peruvian, Cesar Villaran; Christian also earned an unofficial, but well-deserved “Most Improved” award bestowed by his new mentor, and surrogate dad, John Kirkpatrick.
The impressive recovery from injuries by both Dawn and Randy Eckert; Dawn credited her orthopedist Brent Brotzman, who also joined us for the high level weekend tournament and gave a CME lecture tournament about stem cell treatment for knee injuries like hers, while Randy came back quickly following a partially torn elbow tendon suffered in Malta;
The “Vijay is the King” concession made by a talented group of singles players – Hugh Burris, Bruce Dalkin, Mike Dawson and Cesar Villaran – who all succumbed to the youthful topspin consistency of the relentless Vijay Subbanna.
The enthusiasm, and continued improvement – as well as the photographic skills – of Emmie Ko, and the great commonality Emmie discovered with a newcomer, Toronto chiropractor Erin Saltzman.
The beautiful new USTA campus may lie squarely in the landing path of the Orlando Airport, but everyone still enjoyed the experience of playing there and plans are underway for a return visit in 2019. Stay tuned for details. We’d love to have you join us!
TEAM TENNIS 1ST PLACE
TEAM TENNIS 2ND PLACE