The heavens opened Saturday night and early Sunday morning leaving all but two of the YMCA’s courts unplayable for the beginning of the final of the 31st Love of The Y tennis tournament. But you could never tell anything was wrong by talking to the Y’s director of tennis, Roberto Saad.
Such a situation may have left less experienced tennis directors nonplussed. But Saad had the situation under complete control.
“That comes with the territory,” Saad said, “you can have rain, wind. You can have injuries; all sorts of things. Experienced and skillful tournament directors should be able to navigate those conditions.”
Of course, Saad is such a tournament director. He’s been at the Marco Y for five years now. Before that he played on the professional tennis tour, reaching a ranking of No. 36 in the world in 1988. He holds two doubles titles and played at Wimbledon, the French Open and the Australian Open, where he reached the semi-finals in 1988.
“The Love of the Y tournament is a tradition here on Marco Island,” Saad said. “This year, even though it’s a COVID year, we had 85 people enter the event. We have high level 4.0 players participating, from Bonita Springs, Estero and Naples. So we’re very happy with the turnout. We do give nice prizes for the winners. It gets very competitive and the level of play is very good.
“So far we’ve used eight courts. Yesterday, we started at 8 in the morning and finished at 7:30 in the evening. Today, pretty much, I see the semi-finals and finals being played. Everybody is very friendly and they like to compete.”
Saad and his staff worked hard to get the courts back in playing shape Sunday morning, using beach towels to aid the sun and a cooperative 10 mile-per-hour breeze in drying things out a bit.
Winners Were Crowned in Seven Divisions
Women 6.0 division:
Schaufus and J. Jackman DEF. L. Hansman and A. Campbell 6-3 6-2
Women 7.0 division:
Washak and C. Johnson DEF. K. Lord and P. Raimer 5-7 6-2 (10-8)
Women 8.0 division:
Masci and K. Huffman DEF. B. Swanson and E. Schmidt 6-1 6-1
Mixed 6.0 division:
Correa and J. Jackman DEF. L. Ceryak and P. Scherr 7-6 6-1
Mixed 7.0 division:
Marks and A. Washak DEF. S. Opel and G. Huston 5-7 6-4 (10-2)
Mixed 8.0 division:
Benarroch and D. Townsley DEF. D. Amato and J. Amato 7-6 6-3
Men 7.0 division:
Huffman and G. Huston DEF. A. Tamasi and L. Schmachtenberg 6-2 7-5