It was a fairly chalk day on top of the women’s field today. Although, MacGregor/Dawson showed that they are still the team to beat as they hammered Bagby/Bellamy in the gold medal match. That is not how we had capped the field. Wilhelm/Welsher eeked one out over Johnson/Simon in the bronze. Simon looked quite impressive in that match as neither of us had seen much of her play. We will have the pro events starting tomorrow as we get into men’s and women’s pro on Friday, but there will also be mixed senior pro happening. So, we’ll give a little preview here and have our normal live blogging over the weekend.
1. Dayne Gingrich/ Jennifer Dawson – Jen Dawson and Dayne Gingrich are a powerful team, and I would expect them to power their way past most of their opponents with relative ease. While their results playing together have been pretty solid, we have seen them lose a couple of matches so it would not be shocking if in a deep mixed field, someone else takes the crown, but they have to be favorites heading in.
2. Cammy MacGregor / John Sperling – I am not sure that you will find a team with a more consistent pair of players, than John Sperling and Cammy MacGregor. Sperling won mixed split age with Jansen and silver in men’s senior pro with Mircea Morariu while MacGregor won the women’s split age with Irina and got gold in women’s senior pro. These two are both incredibly consistent players, and they have pretty strong results playing together.
3. Beth Bellamy / Dave Weinbach – Beth Bellamy and Dave Weinbach took gold in the only tournament they have played together, the PPA Foot Solutions in Arizona this year. Weinbach does not have as many weapons in mixed as his backhand still remains limited. However, his ultra quick hands for the senior level makes Weinbach so dangerous if he can get his hands going in some kind of speed up.
Podium Chasers: Scott Moore and Eva Welsher have made the podium in all five tournaments they have played together this year, so you can expect them to be right in the mix. Angela Simon and Dan Granot won the Boca Rotan Masters at the start of the year, in a deep field, so they have shown that they can win in a field like this. They are also coming off another gold medal in the South Carolina APP tournament. Nathalie Bagby and Jose Derisi failed to make the podium in the first two tournaments that they have played together, but they are both having strong years in gender doubles, so it would not be shocking to see them break through in mixed this week. I don’t think any senior pro team, plays more tournaments together and gets more reps in than Julie Johnson and Mircea Morariu, and they often find their way onto the podium at these larger tournaments.
Other teams to keep an eye on: As we said earlier this is a very deep field, with other notable teams including Rick Witsken and Helen Wilhelm, Chris Karges and Paul Olin, Scott Crandall and Linda Thompson, Dave Fleming and Leslie Bernard, and Yvonne Ting and Mills Miller. And there are probably more teams, we could have named. This is definitely one of the deepest, if not the deepest, mixed senior pro field that we have seen, which speaks to the growing senior pro game.
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