Lawrence Open almost survives soggy weekend

Three matches remain unfinished after rain delays at LTC

The Lawrence Adult Open tennis tournament continued Sunday, but so, too, did the annoying meteorological meddlings.

Tournament organizers and players thought the worst was behind them after morning showers suspended play for two hours – similar to Saturday morning’s 41â2-hour rain delay.

But at 3 p.m., rumblings could be heard above the Lawrence Tennis Center, and by 4 p.m. everybody involved in the event was at a full run, fumbling for their keys.

When the second round of storms hit, the mixed-doubles final was being played, and two men’s doubles open-division matches were in the works.

“We just about got it done,” tournament director Bud Pettit said. “We had a good tournament, all things considered.”

Before play was halted, the team of Melanie Perry and Tim Oberhelman had won the first set, 6-3, but was down in the second set, 4-1, against Sydney Lartigue and Christian Wingerter. The two teams agreed to conclude their match Thursday night at LTC.

Earlier in the day, former LHS standout Lartigue lost to Perry in the women’s 4.0 player-rating final, 6-3, 6-3.

The other two men’s matches will be played at a to-be-determined tennis court and time in the Kansas City metro area. The duo of Andrew Marchetti and Branden Joost will play James Rudnick and Eddie Lorenzo in a semifinal. The winner will play Michael Strand and Eduardo De Anda for the title.

Rudick and Lorenzo were ready to go well before the storm came, but their opponents were not.

Marchetti had just played two grueling matches to claim the men’s open-division championship.

At 11:30 a.m., Marchetti faced Joost in the semifinals, a match neither opponent really wanted to play.

Joost’s challenger was one of four of his private coaches at the Blue Hills Country Club in Kansas City, Mo.

In a match that No. 2-seeded Marchetti called “just ugly tennis,” the coach prevailed against the student, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

“We had a sloppy match,” said Joost, the No. 3 seed and a recent Shawnee Heights graduate who will play at the University of Arkansas next fall. “I guess it just comes from being good friends. It’s tough to be ultra-competitive when it’s somebody that’s your friend.”

Andrew Marchetti, above, and Branden Joost will face James Rudnick and Eddie Lorenzo for the right to play Michael Strand and Eduardo De Anda for the men's open doubles title when play in the Lawrence Adult Open tennis tournament resumes.

After a brief period of rest, Marchetti battled No. 4-seeded Sean McManus, a recent Topeka Hayden graduate bound for the tennis program at Saint Louis University, for the rights to the title. McManus made his way to the final after stunning No. 1 seed Jim Stoner, 6-4, 6-2, earlier in the day.

Marchetti swept the first set 6-0 before showing signs of fatigue in the second. At one point, McManus rattled off three straight victories to close the gap to 4-3 before the teaching pro won, 6-3.

Marchetti, 23, was a member of West Virginia University’s tennis team before the program folded before his junior year.

He said before playing in and winning a men’s open tournament in singles and doubles in Omaha, Neb., last weekend, he had not competed in a tournament in two years.

“I’m on the court every day,” Marchetti said. “I just wanted to see how much gas I had left in the tank.”

So how much does he have?

Sunday, he was on empty with a towel on his head to keep sweat from stinging his eyes.

“A lot,” Marchetti said. “I don’t know about now, but a lot.”