EAST YORK — The event's main organizer considers the 99th annual York City-County Tennis Tournament an overall success.
The historic event, however, has been taking a bit of a beating lately, thanks to an unwelcome foe — Mother Nature.
The tournament was expected to be completed by last Wednesday, Aug. 14, with the men’s and women’s open singles draws concluding then.
Weather, however, has pushed things back several times, with most of the chaos coming in the men’s open singles bracket.
Just when it seemed like there would be an ultimate winner of the final event on Tuesday evening, when No. 1 seed Phil Myers faced No. 2 seed Peter Landis, Mother Nature stepped in again.
Myers, the two-time defending champ, led Landis 5-2 in the first set before a steady rain hit the courts at Wisehaven Tennis Center. As a result, the match was forced into suspension, with the date for the resumption of play still up in the air.
“I joked with a few people today that the real winner of the 99th annual tournament is the weather,” said Myers, who is also the tournament’s director. “We just can’t win.”
Scheduling conflicts: While the weather has certainly been the biggest factor in the tournament’s extension into a second week, conflicting schedules have played a part as well. The men's semifinals were not completed until Monday because of problems with scheduling new times. The resumption of the Tuesday’s match might not get played until this weekend.
“We want to let everyone know when the match is,” Myers said. “But when we try to squeeze it in, the weather stops it.”
Duffy takes women's title: Myers apologized for the women’s final not getting the proper advance notice that it deserved. Played over the weekend to no fanfare, Lauren Duffy defeated Beth Rickard, 6-2, 6-4, to claim her first title.
“I only got a six-hour notice ahead of time that they were going to play,” Myers said. “But, it is what it is.”
Myers on top of his game: Tuesday, Myers appeared to be on top of his game against Landis, a Red Land High School grad and a top player on the Millersville University squad during his senior season this past spring. Landis managed to win the first game before Myers rallied to take five of the next six before the rain started.
“We should be able to hopefully find another day to finish this,” Myers said.
For Landis, getting the chance to compete against a player the caliber of Myers was exactly what he was looking for in the draw. After winning his three previous matches with a 6-0 score in the first set, Landis was definitely challenged by the strong strokes of Myers.
“Phil is playing great,” Landis said. “I mean he’s hitting the ball real well. And it’s a lot of fun because I’ve been looking to have a good match and play somebody really good all summer.”
Despite holding the early lead in the match, Myers had high praise for his opponent.
“He’s a very strong player,” he said. “I have all the respect in the world for this guy.”
Myers pleased: While the Myers-Landis match is the final outstanding one in the 11 brackets in the tournament, Myers is pleased with the results, at least in terms of numbers, after changing the event's date from late June to early August.
“The numbers are really strong,” he said. “I mean we had 11 more women in the draw than we did last year. We went from three to 14, and that’s a significant increase.”
Looking ahead to 100th tournament: While plans are just in the beginning stage for the 100th event next year, Myers is hoping to make things even grander next summer.
“We have big plans,” Myers said. “We hope to get as many players that have ever been involved over the years and guys and women that have been City-County champions. Maybe even a Tournament of Champions, which I think would be fantastic.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.