By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Wayton Open tennis tournament kicked off on Friday, July 8 with matches taking place all over town, from the Southington High School and Memorial Park tennis courts to the ones at Panthorn Park and Recreation Park.
Now in its 10th year, the annual tournament drew an increase of about 20 people from last year’s record mark, totaling 240 entries.
“We had some growth this year,” said tournament founder and director Matt Wayton. “We broke our entry record once again. There were also a lot of people that missed it when registration closed. We probably could have had more.”
Entrants had the option of registering for the tournament through the tournament’s website at www.waytonopen.com, the tournament’s Facebook page, or by simply contacting Wayton himself. And Wayton said that he feels those sources are still the best way to advertise the tournament, as the number of entries has increased every year since the tournament started in 2007.
“We don’t really run a marketing campaign,” said Wayton. “We don’t have the budget for that. Basically, it’s a word-of-mouth tournament. My marketing is social media, our website, and just word of mouth. If someone brings back another person ever year, that’s big growth for us.”
Although the tournament is based in Central Connecticut, Wayton has received entries from different parts of the state as far as the shoreline, and hopes that the number of entries never stops increasing.
“I want to have a big spike,” the director said. “I would be happy with 1,000 people in it. I want to eventually try to double my field. I basically exhausted who I know plays tennis. I need to find new channels. I have been networking with a couple people, and hopefully we can get a lot more people next year because a lot of people around the state have never heard of it.”
Similar to last year’s opening week, Wayton said that he felt the opening week of this year’s tournament ran pretty smoothly. Last year was the first year that the opening week didn’t get rained out, which helps when every division plays on the first weekend of the tournament.
“We lucked out Saturday and Sunday,” said Wayton. “We didn’t hit rain much. Some matches got rained out Sunday at noon, but then we went back on at 2:00, so we’re pretty much on schedule. It moves the tournament along and rids rescheduling headaches.”
One of the major changes to this year’s tournament was the addition of A and B brackets for the mixed doubles division. The decision came with the purpose of giving more competitors a better chance.
“You don’t have to play the top players anymore if you don’t have the top skill,” the director said. “It’s fairer for both divisions.”
“You don’t want to have blowout matches,” said Wayton. “Plus, if they have a good, fun match, they come back next year and tell other people about it.”
With a record number of entrants, the turnout was good for every division of this year’s tournament, except the high school divisions. And the high school girl’s division is where numbers were especially scarce, as just four entrants signed up.
“I don’t know what it is. We just can’t get them to come out,” the director said. “I specifically made the division because some of the older women were asking not to play high schoolers in the women’s singles division. It’s kind of frustrating.”
Wayton stated that the mission of the Wayton Open is to provide a competitive, yet recreational tennis tournament that promotes healthy living, wellness, and exercise, encourages community spirit, and fosters a lifelong passion for tennis.
“I just want to keep growing the game of tennis in the community, making this a huge community event that continues to give back and grow the sport,” said Wayton. “It’s gets people coming out, who have never played the game before. Maybe they take an interest and it becomes a lifelong passion for them, like it has for me. Tennis is a game that you can play for your whole life. It’s never too late to get into it.”
Play will continue throughout this week with the tournament wrapping up with championship matches on Sunday, July 17. Championship Sunday will begin with a breakfast and conclude with a trophy presentation.
All games will be at the Southington High School tennis courts. Friday’s games are scheduled for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sundays games will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with championship matches on Sunday.
For more information or live updates and results about the Wayton Open, you can visit the tournament’s website or Facebook page.
If you have any questions about the tournament, you can contact Wayton by phone at 860-801-0036 or via email at email@example.com.
2016 Wayton Open Tennis Tournament
Results for matches played from July 8-July 10
At Southington High School, Memorial Park, Panthorn Park, and Recreation Park tennis courts
Men’s Singles (A) Division
First Round—Grant Ogrin def. Christian Perez, 6-2, 6-2; Phil Gordon def. Nick Savino, 6-1, 7-5; Adam Siakala def. Luke Pfanzelt, 6-2, 6-2; Stephen Block def. Matt Downes, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-5; David Borek def. Joey Nguyen, 6-1, 6-1; Kunal Kataria def. Alok Arora, 6-1, 6-3; Sam Noury def. Nick Loveland, 6-1, 6-0.
Second Round—Siakala def. Gordon, by forfeit; Albiach def. Borek, 7-6 (4), 6-2; Lebel def. Ngyuen, by forfeit; Avena def. Penn, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3; Kataria def. Avena, 6-3, 6-1; Stephen Pec def. Jeff Korp, 6-1, 6-0; Kumar def. Block, 6-4, 6-3.
Third Round—Henne def. Siakala, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; Habek def. Noury, 6-3, 6-4; Doolittle def. Lebel 6-0, 6-0; Antonino Raniolo def. Yaro Ivanyuk 6-2, 6-2.
Men’s Singles (B) Division
First Round—Cameron Fahey def. David Medina, 6-1, 6-4; Kreshnik Bytyqi def. Sinclair Bush, 6-0, 6-0; Cole Nelson def. Brandon Celepak by forfeit; Max Shtefan def. Avinash Dongare, 6-1, 6-2; Tom Clark def. Sam Yusfoff, by forfeit; Yaro Ivanyuk def. Roney Thomas, 6-4, 6-1; Niraj Kataria def. Bashar Betros, 6-0, 6-4; Avneet Singh def. Saeed Akbar, 6-1, 6-4; Bruce Rycki def. Todd Clark, 6-1, 6-0; Piotr Moskal def. Sam Johnson, 6-2, 6-1; Dean Wayton def. Glen Wayton, 6-0, 6-2; Corey Wayton def. Bryan Krolikowski, 6-2, 6-4; Charles Perry def. Ben Dubb, 6-0, 6-3; Hussein Akbar def. Derek Clark, 6-2, 6-3; Tim Sweigard def. Venkatesh Rengachari, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1; Joesph White def. Michael Vargas, 6-1, 6-2; Vikas Garg def. Jon Sadusky, 6-1, 6-3; Sureshkumar def. Ries, by forfeit; Sahoo def. Kataria 6-2, 6-1.
Second Round—Wayton def. Fahey, 6-2, 6-2; Kamenoff def. Foye, 6-1, 6-3; Bytyqi def. Moskal, 6-2, 7-6 (5); Oshana def. Nelson, 6-2, 6-4; Shtefan def. Piurkowski, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5; Antolini def. Tom Clark, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; Bytyqi def. Rycki, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3.
Third Round—Wayton def. Wayton, 6-4, 6-2; Holowczyk def. Perry, 6-0, 6-0; Garg def. White, 6-4, 6-4; Gordon def. Sureshkumar, 6-1, 6-2; Ivanyuk def. Yawgel, 1-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2; Akbar def. Sweigard, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Fourth Round—Wayton def. Kamenoff, 6-2, 6-4.
Men’s Masters Division
First Round—John Bate def. Isa Bytyqi, 6-1, 6-0; Vargas def. Hodgdon, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5; Kevin Murray def. Akos Horvath, 6-1, 6-1;
Second Round—Rohn Heidgard def. Bate, 6-0, 6-0; Jeff Blumberg def. Murray, 7-5, 7-5.
Men’s Doubles (A) Division
First Round—Lebel-DiNello def. Mastropietro-Spina, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2; Noury-Penn def. Savino-Savino, 6-1, 6-7, 6-2; Spear-Kohut def. Devarinit-Ubba, 6-1, 6-0.
Men’s Doubles (B) Division
First Round—Daigle-Pfanzelt def. Sheffield-Byrd, 6-2, 6-4; Fahey-Kiss def. Pappas-Pappas 6-2, 6-0; Panajoti-Jakova def. Wayton-Maddalena, by forfeit; Murray-Murray def. Rycki-Rycki, 6-1, 6-1; Holowczyk-Wayton def. Lener-Singh, 6-2, 6-3.
Second Round—Filipek-Barmore def. Daigle-Pfanzelt, 6-3, 7-5; Kataria-Listro def. Bytyqi-Bytyqi, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5); Choudry-Eldradge def. Murray-Murray, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; Yawgel-Loveland def. Panajoti-Jakova 6-2, 6-3.
High School Boys Division
First Round—Ray def. Roy, 6-2, 6-0; C. Savino def. Hart, 6-4, 6-2; Listro def. Fitzgerald, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2; Darsh def. O. Murray, 6-2, 6-4; Jo. Delgado def. Vatti, 6-1, 6-1; Karp def. Holbrook, 6-1, 6-0; Davenport def. Gallo, by forfeit.
Second Round—Ray def. Mastropietro, 6-4, 7-5.
Women’s Singles Division
First Round—Horvath def. Green, 6-4, 6-4; Bitz, 6-3, 6-1; Carnot def. Badale, by forfeit; Tawfik vs. Kaminski.
Second Round—Horvath def. Barmore, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
High School Girls Division
First Round—Doolittle def. Tommerick, 6-3, 6-3.
Mixed Doubles (A) Division
First Round—Henne-Henne def. Beaumont-Makings, 6-2, 6-0.
Mixed Doubles (B) Division
First Round—Subamanian-Trudeau def. Horvath-Horvath, 6-4, 6-0; Henne-Henne def. D’Angelo-Firmani, 6-0, 6-0; Vatti-Vatti def. Barmore-Barmore, 6-4, 6-4; Blanchet-Carmona def. McNulty-Maddalena, by forfeit; Beitel-Dolan def. Bitz-Andrulat, 6-0, 6-1; Brown-Bravo def. Vatti-Vatti, 6-1, 6-0.