News from Around Banderas Bay | August 2009
|Navarro Wins 25th Annual Copa Canto Del Sol; Tournament a Big Success|
Bob Cohen - PVNN
August 10, 2009
The 25th Annual Copa Canto del Sol concluded Saturday after an abbreviated four days of competition. Normally the tournament lasts six days but due to the economic situation, a smaller crowd from other cities in Mexico was expected, thus the decision to shorten the event.
|On the left prior to the semifinals is Puerto Vallarta pro Luis Carlos Rodriguez, who was defeated by Lazaro Navarro the winner of the tournament. Navarro has won many professional tournaments at the Canto Del Sol over the years.|
Pleasantly surprising, a large crowd came, mostly from Guadalajara and many of the draws had competitors playing twice a day. It is the only tournament of the year that keeps the tennis area filled, both on and off the courts, day and night. Families and friends are there to watch play and the interaction and camaraderie is wonderful and provides a healthy environment.
The rain stayed away this year, but surely not the heat and humidity. Temperatures hit the high 90's in the afternoons and the recorded heat index reached 120° on most days. Due to the huge turnout for the 4th Annual Copa Grado 3, which is for youth (girls and boys) aged 10-21 playing singles and doubles, the courts were filled each day from 7:30 am until midnight.
For two days another hotel was asked to host matches for the whole day, lightening the burden. With the rains away, the intense heat and humidity played havoc with the older players, especially in afternoon matches.
In the AA or professional division, the final match of the tournament, top seeded Lazaro Navarro, actually in a league of his own, crushed 4th seed Javier Becerra 6-0, 6-2. The hard hitting Cuban now playing out of Guadalajara won the first nine games of the match before Becerra, a crowd favorite also from Guadalajara, won a game as the crowd cheered the popular pro. Becerra good-naturedly responded to the many friends he had in the crowded stands. At 1-5, Becerra won another game and again the crowd cheered wildly although the match was over long before. Navarro then served the next game out at love for the title. The total prize purse was $10,000 pesos.
The road to the finals was much easier for Navarro due to his power game. His matches were quicker and most points had very few rallies while Becerra plays more of a finesse game and has points of more than 20 or 30 rallies regularly. Both are in their late 30s; old for professional tennis players.
They also played four matches in the two days that the professionals competed. In the semifinals Navarro defeated the 29th seed, Puerto Vallarta's own Luis Carlos Rodriguez 6-4, 6-4. It was the furthest a local player has gone in a professional tournament in recent years. Vallarta is proud of you Louis Carlos!
In the amateur and large part of the tournament, the level of play was spectacular as it always is when the Guadalajara players come to Puerto Vallarta. Many played a level below their Guadalajara levels and many local players were defeated in the opening rounds when they played at their normal classification.
In the Men's "A" division top seed Francisco Becerra of Club Colina in Guadalajara defeated #10 seed Ashtar Villalobos of Ciudad Guzman in straight sets to bring a championship to the Becerra family. All the men's finals were played on the hard courts but these two played on the clay surface.
In the Men's "B" division, two buddies from Guadalajara battled each other and 3rd seeded Carlos Muñoz of Club Monteverde defeated 4th seed Marco Corona a player from the public courts in Guadalajara in three sets. The two also teamed up in the Men's "B" doubles and won. Muñoz collected two championship trophies for the tournament and Corona collected a championship and finalist trophy.
In the Men's "C" division, the top two seeds met in the finals and you guessed it; they were both from Guadalajara. Top seed Serfio Valdez from Club Monteverde defeated 2nd seed Rogelio Rodriguez from Club El Tapatio in two thrilling sets, both won at the score of 7-6, 7-6.
In the Men's Over 50 "C" division, two brothers from Tepic played in the finals and Armando defeated Roberto. In the Men's "D" division top seed Francisco Javier Gomez from Club Code in Guadalajara defeated unseeded Jorge Leanza who plays on the public courts in Guadalajara.
The Women's singles categories were only "C", "D" and "Novato." Watching the women play it was obvious that the better "C" players were clearly "B" players and so forth down the list of classifications. The Novatos are beginners and watching their final, it was a fierce competition between two women that surely have swung their racquets for awhile.
In the "C" Women's finals Ericka Del Real of Club Atlas Chapalita defeated Miriam De Alba of Club Altas Colomos. In the "D" division, Elisa Vazquez-Gomez of Club Santa Anita beat Marcela Hinojosa of Club Bugambilias. In the "Novatos" Nontserrat Fernandez of Club La Colina defeated Jazmin Lopez of the public courts.
In doubles, a strange thing happened in the Men's "A" division. Due to the large field and lack of courts the semifinals were completed late Saturday and were too late to play a finals match. It was determined that since all four players were from Guadalajara, they would play the final upon their return there. The Becerra brothers, Francisco and Alejandro will play or have already played Ismael Fernandez and Jorge Canudas for the "A" doubles championship.
In the Men's "B" doubles, as mentioned previously, Marco Corona and Carlos Muñoz defeated Antonio Galan and Esteban Mucino that play on the public courts in Guadalajara.
In the Men's "C" division Geronimo Camberos playing on Guadalajara's public courts and Sergio Acosta of Club El Tapatio in Guadalajara defeated Alejandro Hinojosa and Roberto Alvarez of Club Atlas Colomos in a thrilling three set match that lasted three hours.
In the Men's "D" division, Puerto Vallarta sportswriter and tennis player Bob Cohen, who had no doubles partner, teamed up at the registration table with Daniel Gutierrez of Club Atlas Chapalita at the entry deadline.
The two were called "the Odd Couple" in Spanish as they had never played together nor knew each other. Bob and Danny even had to play an extra match to get into the draw. They reached the semifinals and lost the first set 7-5, then won the final two sets 6-3, 6-3 to get to the finals.
In the finals against Roberto Joya of Club Los Pinos and Pedro Ornelas of Club Monteverde in Guadalajara, Bob and Danny again lost the first set 6-2; then tied the match with a 6-2 second set and the final set and championship went to the "Odd Couple" 6-2. After a number of finalist trophies, Bob finally captured a Championship.
In the Kid's 4th Annual Copa Grado 4, some Puerto Vallarta kids did better than the adults. Pedro Fernandez Del Valle won the 12 year old singles title and also won the 12-year-old doubles title with fellow Vallarta buddy Dagoberto Alarcon. Younger brother Diego Fernandez Del Valle was the finalist in the 10-year-old category and also was the finalist in the 10-year-old doubles with Ramon Amezquita. Jerry Lopez, who grew 12 inches in two years, won the 16-year-old doubles title with his partner Ramiro Quezada. Jose Carranza was a finalist in the 21-year-old category. Congratulations to the Puerto Vallarta kids, as well as all the others that competed
Kudos goes out to the Professor of the Jalisco Tennis Association, Hector Martinez. Hector has run this tournament under the auspices of the Jalisco association for a number of years and handled everything with professionalism and perfection. He also was able to compete in the Men's "A" doubles but was defeated in a close semifinal.
The Canto Del Sol tennis staff again did a tremendous behind the scenes job, keeping the courts ready and in great shape, judging matches, stringing racquets and anything else that was needed. The staff is headed by Tennis Director Martin Parra. The tournament staff also includes Polo Torres, Polo Martinez and Leonardo Lopez. The 25th year was a great one!