Photo: Plock Orlen Polish OpenRonald Vink (NED)
Ronald Vink, Michaela Spaanstra and Dorrie Timmermarmans-van Hall ensured that there was a tinge of orange to the celebrations for the 20th Plock Orlen Polish Open as the Dutch trio clinched the men’s, women’s and quad singles titles at the ITF 2 Series tournament.
The ever-popular tournament hosted 66 players from 17 countries, including Australia, Chile, USA and a variety of European nations, with the host country challenge led by five-time champion Tadeusz Kruszelnicki, one of several former victors bidding to capture the spoils once again.
After a first round bye French top seed and defending champion Frederic Cattaneo went through to the men’s singles final in the top half of the draw, dropping just one game in his opening match and just six games in both his quarter and semifinal contests, including a 62 64 win over Kruszelnicki in the last eight.
Vink had a tough beginning to the tournament against fellow Dutchman and three-time ITF World Champion Ricky Molier, the winner of the very first Polish Open in1995. Vink, the 2009 champion, came through 64 63 before meeting another of the tournament’s enduring legends, Austria’s Martin Legner, in the semifinals.
Legner is a three-time men’s singles champion and nine-time men’s doubles champion, but as the two former world No. 3 players went head-to-head Vink secured his second 62 61 win in successive matches to set up what was expected to a difficult final. In the event Vink sealed his second Polish Open title within an hour defeating Cattaneo 63 63.
The women’s singles didn’t lack any drama, with German top seed and 2013 runner-up Bianca Osterer sustaining an arm injury in her semifinal against Spaanstra that resulted in Osterer needing brief visit to hospital. Meanwhile, defending champion and second seed Emmy Kaiser produced a fine performance to beat fellow American Kaitlyn Verfuerth 62 62 in the last eight and Chile’s Macarena Cabrillana 60 61 in the semis.
However, Spaanstra made a confident start to the final and went on to wrap up her first ITF 2 Series title 62 76(4).
The most welcome surprise for the tournament organisers was an entry of 15 players for the quad singles, a 16 draw more often reserved for ITF 1 and ITF Super Series tournaments.
The quad event matches were played at a different venue due to rainy weather conditions for the first few days. Top seed Adam Field suffered an early loss to Giuseppe Polidori, but Polidori has his own challenge ended in the last four by Timmermans-van Hall 64 63. The Dutch former world top 10 player, contesting her first ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour event since December 2012, went on to defeat Israeli second seed Boaz Kramer 63 36 62.
Tournament director Wieslaw Chrobot, the tournament director for all 20 editions of the Polish Open, created a special edition pack for each of the players, featuring photos from the 20 years of the event.
After the finalists had received their trophies and given their acceptances speeches, the tournament ended with one last group photo … and the biggest yet.
Happy 20th birthday to the Plock Orlen Polish Open, and many happy returns.