Sports

Players persevere after rainy days at Mountain View Open


The most formidable opponent for those competing in this year’s Mountain View Open tennis tournament might have been the weather. Due to rain, matches were postponed three out of the five scheduled days.

“Overall, this was the most challenging Mountain View Open I’ve ever been involved with either as a player or as the tournament director,” said John Togasaki, associated with the Open since 1993.

Due to the partial and full-day rainouts, Togasaki had to add another day of play to the 51st edition of the event, traditionally held the last two weekends of May at the Cuesta Park Tennis Center. Several qualifying matches slated for the first weekend were postponed until Friday, May 24, so the tourney could culminate as planned on Memorial Day.

“The players were extremely patient and understanding of the rain delays and constant rescheduling,” Togasaki said. “They had very long and frustrating days, but they were very cooperative, and I couldn’t have run the tournament without their help and cooperation.”

That help included drying the rain-soaked courts. Togasaki said tourney officials, spectators and even players assisted in the effort to roll the courts dry.

“Everyone helped to make it happen, and that’s what makes this tournament special,” he said.

They were rewarded with a dry day for the finals, which drew “a couple hundred spectators for the men’s singles,” Togasaki said. And when the last match, men’s doubles, ended at just past 7:30 p.m., “there were still 50 people braving the cold,” he added.

Fourth-seeded Austin Ansari claimed the men’s singles crown, cruising to a 6-1, 6-0 win over No. 5 Nitzan Ricklis. A North Carolina native, Ansari was an All-American at Clemson University. Sunnyvale resident Ricklis reached the final last year as well.

Ansari also advanced to the men’s doubles final – teaming with Marcos Vinicius da Silva Dias of Brazil – but wasn’t able to come away a double winner. Brian Brogan and Max Liberty-Point outlasted them 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.

“By the end, Austin was completely out of gas, but still trying his best,” Togasaki said.

Earlier that day, second-seeded Sybille Gauvain defeated No. 1 Vivian Ovrootsky 6-2, 6-4 in the women’s singles final. Gauvain is a 2018 graduate of San Jose State, where she played No. 1 singles for four years. San Jose resident Ovrootsky, 14, is nationally ranked.

Another teen, Yuu Ishikawa, made it to the mixed doubles final with Phil Graham. They fell to Ovrootsky and Hugo Hashimoto, who prevailed 7-6(5), 6-1. Ishikawa, 16, is the No. 1 player at Los Altos High. Graham is her personal coach.

A total of $3,500 in prize money was awarded at the USTA-sanctioned event.

For complete results and more information on the Open, visit mvopen.com.

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