81st American Platform Tennis Association National Championships to benefit nonprofit

The country’s top platform tennis players will storm Fairfield and Westchester counties, March 4 through 6, for the 81st American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) National Championships. The event, which will draw 500 men and women competitors from the local region to as far as Colorado and California, will take place at host club, the Country Club of Darien, 300 Mansfield Avenue, and at 32 additional clubs and facilities in Fairfield County in Greenwich, New Canaan, Rowayton, Wilton, Weston, Fairfield, Stamford, Easton and Ridgefield, Darien and in Rye in Westchester County. The tournament will feature the sport’s doubles format requiring teamwork, racquet skills and athleticism.  Spectators are welcome at no charge.

The APTA will donate the tournament’s net proceeds to the Connecticut Alliance for Tennis + Education, ctalliancetennis.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides tennis instruction, academic support and mentoring to underserved youths in Connecticut. Programs are located in New Haven, Bridgeport, Danbury, Stamford and Norwalk.

Top teams on the men’s side are last year’s national champions Jared Palmer, formerly of Rowayton, a former world No. 1 men’s doubles tennis player on the ATP tour, and partner Drew Broderick of Summit, N.J. and last year’s finalists Mark Parsons of Norwalk, pro at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y., and partner Johan du Randt of Wayland, Mass. On the women’s side are three-time defending national champion Ana Brzova, pro at the Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes, N.J. (2015 champion with Liz Cruz of Norwalk) and her 2016 partner Viktoria Stoklasova, two-time national champion and former pro at the Lake Club in Wilton. Also vying for the title are top ranked Cynthia Dardis of Stamford and Wilton’s Amy Shay, pro at Woodway in Darien, who won their sixth shared APTA masters national title in January in Scarsdale.

“We’re expecting over 1,000 on-site spectators during the weekend who will be treated to outstanding competition from the best in the sport,” said Mark Fischl, chairman of the tournament’s organizing committee. “Fans at home can stay abreast with live Internet broadcasts and updates.”

Founded in 1928 in Scarsdale, N.Y., platform tennis or paddle as it is commonly called, has been growing rapidly across the country in recent years.  The APTA’s mission is increase participation with its “Grow the Game” initiative, an active grant program to provide financial assistance to communities for building new courts. The only racquet sport that players can enjoy outdoors in cold weather, paddle provides a way for both adults and juniors to keep fit in the winter and because of its doubles format, it is also a social game.

The American Platform Tennis Association, platformtennis.org, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that governs the sport for its 15,500 members. The APTA sanctions more than 180 annual tournaments, including 26 national championship events; provides national rankings; maintains official rules and etiquette; and regulates standards for paddles, balls and courts.

The 81st APTA National Championships thanks the following sponsors for their support: American Business, Viking, Fairfield County Platform Tennis League, Fairfield County Women’s Platform Tennis, Paddleplayer.com, PaddlePro, Stamford Hospital, Pure, Upper Cervical Chiropractic of New York, Houlihan Lawrence, Half Full Brewery, Harrow, Candlewood Investment Group, New England Physical Care, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, Shipman & Goodwin, Ionic Sport Water, Reilly Green Mountain Platform Tennis Courts, Round Hill Club, Indian Trail Club and Wilson.

For more information, visit facebook.com/81aptanationals/ or follow on Twitter, @aptanationals.