Wheelchair Tennis was on display, as the Yorba Linda Country Club hosted its second annual tournament earlier in November.
The Adaptive Athletics Association organized the second wheelchair tennis tournament in as many years at the Yorba Linda Country Club (YLCC) over the weekend of November 3-4 under the direction of Greg Jablonski, YLCC head tournament pro. 21 players spanned over nine divisions hosted by the lovely eight-court facility at the club.
The tournament enjoyed beautiful 80-degree weather this year, a far cry from the near rain out at last year’s competition, and with fewer competitors than the previous year those who did attend also enjoyed a more relaxed tournament atmosphere as well.
Strong player contingencies from throughout California and a lone New Yorker made up the field of wheelchair tennis players competing. A drop in attendance of over 30 percent was largely due to conflicts with a Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in nearby San Diego, also unfortunately some players missed due to injuries, and various personal reasons.
Although there were fewer attendees the reputation of the event helped muster new players from Northern and Southern California alike who had not attended previously. The Sempra Energy volunteer staff who helped with the wheelchair valet services, Mike Box the renowned "repair guy", along with the gracious club members and staff, helped to make this year’s event an overwhelming success.
Marcus Causton, a west coast convert originally from the northeast, continued his winning streak with another Men's Open championship at the YLCC/AAA Wheelchair Tournament after wins in the USTA Pacific Northwest sectionals and the San Jose Open. Causton teamed up with Donald Bearden in the Men's Open doubles final to sweep the tourney with a decisive win over the tough native California team of Marty Anderson and Tom Ayala.
Antonio Vico swept the field in the Men's A division round-robin draw and is continuing his advance up the ranks in solid fashion. Vico teamed with the Men's B division singles champion Hadyanto Sutandar for the title in the Men's A doubles division as well. Hats off to Dee Henry coach of the Biola University Tennis Teams and mentor to many of the local Southern California wheelchair tennis players.
Another of Henry’s understudy’s Mark Jones who had finished his run last year in the Semifinals was able to take the field in this year’s round robin draw and claim the Men's C division championship. Don Haynie and Tom Chun defeated Jones and a new up-and-coming junior Juan Solis in the Men's C division doubles final.
Alycia Busciglio and Denise Esrey two ladies from Northern California were the only women in this year’s event and astonished the crowd with excellent tennis as they competed on center court in the Women's A division final and again as they nearly went the distance in a nail biting defeat to Sherman Schneller and Ken Straiton in the Men's B division doubles final.
The Adaptive Athletics Association would like to thank all the players, volunteers, fans and organizers of the 2012 YLCC Wheelchair Tournament and would also like to extend an invitation to all to participate in its upcoming ITF Future Series tournament, the Southern California Open, which will be held the end of January at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens in Palm Springs, Calif.