Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Yields Record Turnout

photo by Michael A. Clubine Dana Mathewson reaches to serve the ball at the 14th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament
photo by Michael A. Clubine
Dana Mathewson reaches to serve the ball at the 14th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament

94 Contestants from Around the World Compete in Queens

Written by Ryan Bright

QUEENS, N.Y. – The Wheelchair Sports Federation and United States Tennis Association hosted the 14th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament on June 5th through June 8th, bringing people from around the world including France, Japan, Canada, and USA. It took place at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, New York, where 94 contestants came in hopes of becoming champions.

In the Men’s A Singles, the unseeded Russel Rodriguez (Nashville, TN) came into this tournament and knocked out the 2nd and 4th seeded players with identical 6-1; 6-2 victories. In the finals, Cristobal Rivera (Valley Stream, NY), the 1st seed, nearly ended Rodriguez’s winning streak, but Rodriguez won by giving hits with heavy top spin and some that were over the head to bring the match to a 6-2; 6-1 victory.

The Women’s Open Singles finals had Dana Mathewson (San Diego, CA), the 3rd seed, post up against Marianne Page (Payson, UT), 1st seed. Although Mathewson gets nervous playing Singles, she said, she laid down smooth serves that knocked out her opponent giving her a 6-2; 7-5 victory.

In the Louis Armstong Stadium, Men B Singles player, Victor Vaughn (Nashville, TN), and his prized Prince racquet went in to battle Jose Gomez (Royal Palm Beach, FL), who was unseeded, but still made it to the finals. Gomez gave a good effort, but the 1st seed, Vaughn, won it with 6-3; 6-4 victory. When Vaughn was questioned later about playing Gomez, he said “I thought [Jose] was going to beat me.”

photo by Michael A. Clubine Patrick Donaghey reaches for the ball.
photo by Michael A. Clubine
Patrick Donaghey reaches for the ball.

Players who won Men’s C, D, Open, and Open Singles-second draw were Sunil Patel (Tallahassee, FL), Kei Usami (Darien, CT), Thomas Vinatier (Nantes, France), and Michael Foulkes (Petaluma, CA), respectively.  The Quad Open Singles winner was the top seed, Bryan Barten (Tucson, AZ). In Men’s A Doubles, unseeded Atif Moon (Rancho Palos Verdes, CS)/ Russell Rodriguez knocked out the 2nd seed, Patrick Donaghey (Elkview, WV)/Kevin Green (Saint Louis, MO), in a tie-breaker. In Doubles for Men’s B, C, and D, Wayne Bennet (Denver, CO)/Ricardo Corral (East Elmhurst, NY), Nathan Melnyk (Centerport, NY)/Jose Mendez (Brentwood, NY), and Johnny Tejada (Flushing, NY)/Kei Usami were top winners and in Men’s Open Doubles, Phillipe Bedard (Quebec City, NM)/Joel Dembe (Toronto, ON) were top winners. In the Quad Open Doubles, the 1st seed, Gary Luker (Ancaster, ON)/Robert Shaw (Ontario, NM) defeated the 2nd seed, Bryan Barten/Kevin Whalen (Oneida, NY). In Women’s Open Doubles Karolina Lingyte (Northport, AL)/Dana Mathewson came out on top.

The Wheelchair Sports Federation is a volunteer run non-profit organization that provides opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities to play sports recreationally and competitively.  For more information and photos, visit www.WheelchairSportsFederation.org.

photo by Michael A. Clubine Ninety-four players from around the world gathered for the 14th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament.
photo by Michael A. Clubine
Ninety-four players from around the world gathered for the 14th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament.

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