Tops’l 2017


Tops’l Charms with Sun, Sand and Sensational CME

Kicking things off with an on-court bang on Sunday afternoon, Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, president of the Society for Tennis Medicine and Science – and a certified tennis pro – gathered all meeting attendees together on Court #1 for a high-energy CME session, “Hitting Healthy: How to Avoid Injuries on the Court”.  We left with new ideas about the most effective pre-match warm up (HINT: run the lines first, then only use one ball when hitting short to encourage consistency; run to pick up that one ball when an error is made).  Neeru also included some helpful stroke modifications designed to avoid the most common tennis injuries in adult players.

High-quality CME talks continued throughout the week.  Beginning with Norwegian cardiology resident Eivind Aabel’s discussion of standard cardiology treatments, medications and pricing in his native country, there was Luba Frank’s enthusiastic presentation of some highly technical videos on transcatheter aortic valve replacement and Nazeema Khan-Assad’s practical talk on pediatric orthopedic injuries.  Randy Eckertpresented another state-of-the-art lecture on a current topic (CRISPR) that poses serious ethical considerations, and Bruce Dalkin was eloquent in tackling the ever-changing screening PSA question.   Personal experiences prompted Mike Dawson’s interest in exploring the short- and long-term consequences of post-op delirium, and his informative lecture sparked a rigorous discussion; Brad Johnson’s excellent talk on pre-op evaluation tied in nicely with Mike’s lecture.  Thought-provoking indeed was George Grave’sdiscussion of the controversial practice of earthing and grounding, given while attached to an electrical outlet via a 15-foot cord; then John Kirkpatrick finished out the lecture series with an update on the concierge medicine movement in the US.

With AMTA President Bruce Dalkin organizing the tennis competition, meeting attendees knew they were in for 5 days of vigorous play on the well-maintained on the Har-Tru courts.   Bruce did a masterful job managing the team tennis, while also recognizing the top 5 men/women players based on aggregate games won throughout five days of two match/day doubles play with a kaleidoscope of partners and opponents.

Between the congenial and friendly newcomers enjoying their first meeting, and the familiar faces of the many regulars, there were lots of highlights both on and off the court.

New Orleans native Tom Canale’s excellent drop shot, rivaled only by wife Marilyn’s, both honed after a lifetime of clay court play;

New Orleans native Tom Canale’s excellent drop shot, rivaled only by wife Marilyn’s, both honed after a lifetime of clay court play;

Texan Dawn Eckert’s aggressive, winning style, despite a painful knee injury that would have kept most others on the sidelines;

The ease and friendliness with which newlyweds Chas and Christine Mangham entered into the festivities; no surprise as Christine spent her childhood attending UW Dental Tennis Association meetings with her dentist dad!

The genuine Midwestern friendliness of newcomer Paula Voss, who immediately got into the spirit of the event and played solid, impressive tennis all week long;

Monika Dalkin’s self-described “clatch and scraw” determination;

Newcomer Vijay Subbanna’s gentle demeanor as he systematically beat all singles opponents with his tricky lefty topspin;

The clay court “floor burns” sported by never-say-die Helene Bryan and Eivind Aabel, following separate accidents falling on the gritty clay;

The good humor and joke-telling of Luis Cespedes, belying his determined competitiveness;

The adorable twin granddaughters introduced by New Yorkers Nadine and Kelly Bartels, she the feisty competitor, he the more laid back partner;

The relentless streak in Ginger Alden, willing yet again to play anyone, anytime;

The very real improvement in the tennis skills of there’s-noone-nicer-than-Jane Dawson;

The all-around steady game of Melinda Voda;

The court sense, positioning and enduring game quality of our favorite AMTA grande dame, Mimi Combs;

The forcing cross-court shots of David Bryan;

The warmth and affability of fellow Wisconsin physicians Charlie Alden and newcomer Mark Voss;

The athleticism – and stunning couture – of our other favorite Norwegian, Magdalena Todorow;

The remarkable return from another serious medical challenge of Kris Vadlamudi;

The conversational chemistry between George Graves and pony-tailed octogenarian, Frank Sladkovic;

The 2x-cross-country saga of Seattleites Jim and Kay Coghlan, who had been to Orlando for a USTA Nationals event just one week prior to Tops’l, then turned around and flew back to Florida for some AMTA fun;

The ebullient good nature of the ever-steady Steve Waszak; hopefully wife Jan will be back on the courts by Smoke Tree!

A sincere thank you to Dawn Eckert and Steve Waszak for contributing so many fun photos to the above story!

And the Winners!

Team Tennis Gold

Helene Bryan

Marilyn Canale

Ginger Alden

Cori Kirkpatrick

Mike Dawson

Eivind Aabel

Mark Voss

Chas Mangham

Team Tennis Silver

Monika Dalkin

Luba Frank

Jim Coghlan

Brad Johnson

Steve Waszak

Randy Eckert

Kelly Bartels



#1   Christine Mangham

#2   Cori Kirkpatrick

#3   Melinda Voda

#4   Monika Dalkin

#5   Dawn Eckert




Top 5 MEN

#1   Eivind Aabel

#2   Mike Dawson

#3   Charlie Alden

#4   John Kirkpatrick

#5   Chas Mangham



Most Improved Woman   Jane Dawson

Most Improved Man   Eivind Aabel

Most Crafty   Vijay Subbanna

Best Dressed   Magdalena Todorow