PNW returns with solid field

// Defending champ, finalists look for success again

  • TITLE DEFENSE. Gail Brodsky, seen during her championship victory over Denise Dy last year, returns to try to defend her title at the 2012 Pacific Northwest Open. (ROCKY ROSS)

Even with the field having yet to be finalized, the amount of talent already signed up to participate in the 2012 Pacific Northwest Open Tennis Championships is sure to produce some entertaining matches.

The tournament, set to take place July 24-29 at the Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club, will feature several promising newcomers and some experienced returnees, including defending women’s champ Gail Brodsky and runner-up Denise Dy and men’s runner-up Angelo Niculescu.

“I think this is going to be one of the deepest fields we’ve had,” said Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club head pro Mark Hanson, adding that he expected to see “phenomenal matches from the round of 32 to the main draw.”

Last year’s men’s champ, Damian Hume, will not return to defend his title, but a solid group will take his place, with Niculescu and Oren Motevassel – a quarterfinalist last year – looking to lead the charge.

Hanson added that Las Vegas’ Brian Battistone, who uses a two-handled racquet and has a unique serve, will be an interesting player to watch.

“He starts off holding the racket with his left hand, tosses the ball up, tosses the racket to his right hand and leaps into his serve,” Hanson said.

Former professional player Brian Wilson, who just moved to Redmond from Las Vegas, University of Washington sophomore-to-be Emmett Egger and former UNLV player Joel Kielbowicz are some talented newcomers as well. Federal Way’s Mitch Stewart headlines a solid group of 16-year-old players along with Toshi Matsuya.

Brodsky should once again be a favorite in the women’s field, though Dy – the recently-graduated number-one player for the University of Washington – should again make noise and 2010 champ and former Bellarmine Prep star Suzie Matzenauer returns after dropping out with an injury last year.

“The women’s draw is probably the strongest draw we’ve had,” said Hanson, adding that a women’s qualifying round may take place for the first time in tournament history.

Hanson added that Giuliana Olmos, who recently won a sectional tournament in California for the chance to qualify to the U.S. Open, headlines a solid group of players from the University of Southern California that should challenge the returning group. He also mentioned Dasha Ivanova, a high-school player from Beaverton, Ore., as another one to watch.

Qualifying matches will begin on the evening of July 23 and continue on July 24 starting at 10 a.m., with the round of 32 beginning on July 25 at noon. The round of 16 will begin on July 26, with quarterfinals on July 27 and semifinals on July 28. The finals will take place on July 29, starting with the women’s singles at 11 a.m. For more information on the tournament visit


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