Simpson Open finals ‘great tennis’

GODFREY – Without a doubt, the 2022 edition of the Bud Simpson Open tennis tournament was a hot affair.

With temperatures in the mid-90s and a heat index at times higher than 100 degrees, play was affected during Sunday’s third and final day of the 39th Simpson Open – affectionately known as “The Bud.” But nonetheless, the finals featured outstanding play.

When they were played, that is.

While Samantha Mannix cruised to the Women’s Open singles championship, the Men’s Open Singles final between Petar Petrovic and Gus Tettamble was halted when Petrovic withdrew because he was feeling effects from the heat. And the Men’s Open Doubles final was also halted when Petrovic attempted to play, but was unable to continue because of the effects of the heat.


Petrovic had advanced to the singles championship match with a marathon 7-5, 1-6, 10-8 semifinal win over Ollie Okonkwo from Iowa City, Iowa. It was during that long match that Petrovic began to feel poorly. But he continued to play and got the win and and a spot in the final against Tettamble, who had won his semifinal against Preston Achter 6-2, 6-1.

“The semifinal was long and (Petrovic) did everything he could to get through,” said tournament director James Humphrey. “That’s how players compete at his level.”

Tettamble was declared the Men’s Open Singles winner after play was halted in the final.

“Actually,” Humphrey said, “I think (Petrovic) was affected by the heat Saturday too, which could have been when it started. Problems with the heat can happen every year. The players try to stay hydrated, but sometimes, they lose. electrolytes too quickly. “

Another Men’s Open Singles player fell victim to cramping because of dehydration and the Godfrey Fire District was called. The 19-year-old player from Indiana was treated at the scene but did not require hospitalization. .

“(Petrovic) withdrew from the singles final because he wanted to have something left for the doubles,” Humphrey said. “He didn’t want to disappoint his doubles partner.”

In the Open Doubles final, Petrovic and doubles partner Emilien Burnel led Preston Achter and Danny Radke when play was stopped.

In the Women’s Open singles final, Mannix, from Iowa City, defeated Sampada Coster 6-0, 6-2 at the LCCC for the championship. Mannix had advanced from the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Elizabeth Barlow and Coster made it through with a 6-1, 6-0 semifinal win over Erin Coleman.

“(Mannix) is a phenomenal player,” Humphrey said. “Her game is at another level. The Women’s Open Singles final was really great to watch. Great tennis from both finalists.

“The women’s draw was the best I’ve seen.”

In the Women’s Open Doubles final Sunday, Abigail Thurmer and Daniela Rosenberger defeated Sara Kreutztrager from Roxana and Addison Brannon from Alhambra 6-0, 6-0.

Thurmer, from Chesterfield, Missouri, and Rosenberger, from St. Louis, won their semifinal earlier Sunday from BelaSanghavi from O’Fallon and Isabel Wells from O’Fallon 6-1, 6-0. Kreutztrager and Brannon beat Zoe Byron from Edwardsville and Alysa Wise from Glen Carbon in the semifinals 7-5, 7-5.

In Mixed Doubles play, Mannix and Okonkwo teamed up to defeat Rosenberger and Burnel in the final 6-2, 6-2. Mannix and Okonkwo advanced from the semis with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Tettamble and Elizabeth Barlow. In the other semifinal, Rosenberger and Burnel beat Max Litton and Mirra Manolov from Columbia, Missouri, 6-3, 6-3.

“The Mixed Doubles draw was also excellent,” Humphrey said. “The best we’ve ever had.”

In Men’s 35 and Over Singles play, Clinton Vanvalkenburgh from Chesterfield, Missouri, won the title with a 6-1, 6-4, 10-8 win over John Black, also from Chesterfield.

Dennis Meyers from Wentzville defeated top seeded James Claywell of Alton in the Men’s 55-and Over Singles final, 6-2, 6-2.

Trish Arreazola of Janesville, Wisconsin, defeated Laurie Burke of St. Louis to win the title.

The tournament began Friday evening with early matches and continued Saturday before winding up on Sunday. There were 66 entries total.

“It’s the largest field since 2016,” Humphrey said. “The biggest ever was 72.”

Humphrey said a focused attempt was made to attract high-quality players to the tournament.

“We increased the prize money,” he said, “and it was equal for men and women. It has been equal for a few years here. The question might be, ‘Which comes first, more prize money or better players?'”

Humphrey said the tournament was a success.

“Very much so,” he said. “We had a lot of happy people. For the most part, the draws went smoothly. We were also fortunate with rain. Just three Friday matches were affected. And overall, the quality of play was excellent.”

What’s next?

“Well, I’ve still got some cleanup to do and banners to take down,” Humphrey said, “but we’re already thinking about next year.”

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