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Tennis: No. 1 in New England is No. 1 in NH Open

Union Leader Correspondent

July 16. 2017 11:25PM
Tom Gross, left, presents first prize to Portland, Maine's, Dana Parziale after Sunday's New Hampshire Open at Waterville Valley Tennis Center. (JOHN KOZIOL/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

WATERVILLE VALLEY — Portland, Maine’s Dana Parziale, the No. 1 ranked USTA player in New England, had a busy and productive Sunday, playing and winning three matches at the 36th New Hampshire Open, including titles in the singles and doubles.

The tournament’s No. 1 seed, Parziale, 25, started his Sunday on the red clay courts of the Waterville Valley Tennis Center by defeating Ryan Foster of Bloomfield, Conn., 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals. In the other semi, No. 5 seed Kohlman Lawrence, 21, of Boston, downed Drew Van Oderlain, 23, of East Hampton, Mass., when Van Oderlain withdrew after Lawrence won the first set, 6-3 and led in the second, 3-1.

Parziale, who played at Bryant University and is currently director of Adult Tennis at the Racquet and Fitness Center of Portland, next teamed up with Luke Lorenz, 21, of Smithfield, R.I., to beat Jack Ablon, 18, of Wellesley, Mass., and Richard Robbie, 24, of Harwich Port, Mass., 6-1, 6-4 in the doubles final.

At around 1:30 p.m., Parziale squared off against Lawrence, who took him the distance, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a battle of players who each brought topspin and pace from their forehands and two-handed backhands.

The match featured many breaks of serve and unforced errors but it also had its share of brilliant points and high drama, including when down one set already, Lawrence won three games in a row.

“I was more upset than concerned,” said Parziale, who told himself to get mentally tough and to come to the net more. Although, by his own description, he is not a serve-and-volleyer in the classic sense, Parziale before the match said his net game was one of his strengths.

“It was a good match,” said Lawrence, who, like his singles opponent, played in his first New Hampshire Open this year and with Van Oderlain, also reached a semifinal in the doubles.

In the singles final, “There were a couple of break points that I couldn’t convert in the last two sets,” said Lawrence. Meanwhile, Parziale was able to get his when he needed them most, including when he was down 3-1 in the third set.

But after a double fault, a Parziale forehand into the net, and then two bad backhands of his own, Lawrence gave the break back to Parziale when he sailed a forehand long. Parziale then served a love game to make the score 3-all and at 3-4, broke Lawrence again.

Serving at 3-5, Lawrence took advantage of three winners, and a Parziale miscue to pull to 4-5 but Parziale, though falling behind 0-30 in the deciding game, was the recipient of two misguided forehands from Lawrence before hammering his own passing forehand to set up match point.

Parziale’s serve down the middle was returned by Lawrence but he was unable to pick up the subsequent volley and dumped it low into the net.

Parziale, whose USTA bio list his residence as Cumberland, R.I., said he will definitely return to defend his New Hampshire Open title in 2018.

Tennis Waterville Valley

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