Saddlebrook 2014


Saddlebrook’s New Tournament Format a Big Hit

November 9 – 14, 2014  •  Wesley Chapel, Florida

Boosted by gorgeous weather, a convenient, walkable venue and a new tournament format mixing up partners and pairing players of similar ability, the camaraderie and enjoyment at Saddlebrook Resort were as sunny as the skies.

Instead of the traditional compass draw, players were grouped by general skill level and played 10-game pro set matches in a round robin format.  The result was that everyone played numerous pre-scheduled, single-set matches each day.  This led to lots of variety, featuring tight competition and many close tie-breaker matches.  On the last day players of differing abilities were paired, which meant more fun interaction.  A total of 67 matches were played, and everyone appeared in the win ledger at some point during the week.

As usual there many highlights to savor:

  • The return of the Sydoraks and Waszaks after a hiatus – welcome back!
  • The “best sea bass EVER” at the Welcome Banquet on opening night
  • How quickly friendly newcomers Kurt and Martha Newmann, and Ed and Linda LaCava fit right in with the group
  • The killer topspin forehand and stamina of other newcomer Igor Sister, who played his matches each afternoon after taking a 3-hour morning clinic with the Saddlebrook pros
  • The inspiring play of octagenarians Bob and Mimi Combs, and Frank Sladkovic – and Frank’s smile on the last day when he was paired with Hugh to play with “the big boys”
  • The meandering, centrally-located pool, that attracted friendly groups after a long afternoon of tennis in the sun
  • Pat Geshke’s transformation from the first day (“You’re wearing me out”) to the last (“That was really fun!”)
  • Incoming president Bruce Dalkin’s impressive string of 8 match wins, including his first-ever singles victory over the perennially dominant Hugh Burris
  • Outgoing President Bonnie’s Sidoff’s tally of 10 wins with and against multiple partners, highest of anyone
  • The winning mixed doubles teams of Gerry and Oksanna Sydorak (13 total victories), David and Helene Bryan (12) and Hugh and Carol Burris (11)
  • The youthful skill and friendly demeanor of Bonnie Sidoff’s daughter Alyssa, taking a break from her nearby residency program schedule
  • The abundant wildlife spotted by the women who took a morning off to walk the perimeter of the Saddlebrook property
  • A particularly stimulating CME lineup that included great talks by Rick Reed on the Ebola outbreak, Ed LaCava on low T, Kurt Neumann’s clever cookbook take on chemotherapy protocols, Bruce Dalkin on the salary structure in academic medicine, and Steve Waszak on the medical themes in Italian Art
  • The dapper plaid jacket sported by Kris Vadlamudi at the Awards Banquet

Again, a great time was had by all!