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National Talent Takes to the Courts at The New Tennis Center in Nosara

By Peter Aart

Photos by Pinar Istek
Fernando Gonzales hits the ball during the men's double final match of Audi Summer Cup 2013 Sunday morning, Feb. 17, 2013 at 506 Tennis Center, La Esperanza, Nosara. This was the first time the finals for this national tournament were hosted in Nosara.

The Audi Summer Cup National Tennis Tournament took place this past weekend February 16 and 17 at the 506 Tennis Center in Nosara. The ¨Open¨ category offers prize money to those advancing to the final.  This along with the prestige of the long running tournament catches the eye of former college standouts and professionals from across the country to come to Nosara and participate. 

Up until 2013 the tournament was held solely in San Jose where the majority of tennis talent lives and trains.  However, with the opening of the new  Tennis Center here in Nosara the tournament was split across two venues.

The new Tennis Center opened its doors and new courts in January of this year.  Two brand new Decoturf Hardcourts were built to go along with an existing court that is lit for night play.  The tennis center lays on the Villas Esperanza Project in Esperanza.  The 506 Tennis Center is owed by Sam Carver and managed by Paul Vargas.  They have partnered with my self, a former ATP, and local teaching pro Dan Mainzer both from the United States and we are committed to growing tennis in the Nosara community as well as bringing Costa Rican tennis to a much larger international scale.

The Women's A Category made up of four (4) teams competed in a round robin format kicking off the matches on Saturday Morning.  The sister tandem of Marianne and Giulianna Hull started the day with a comeback win against Ana Elena Quesada and Cataline Gallego 2-6 6-3 6-3.  On the court next door the pairing of Marjorie Jara and Tatiana Fiorillo overcame the team of Elsa Cortes and Irene Vianello 6-4 6-4.
The first Men's Open Semifinal to take the court provided the first major upset of the tournament as unseeded Leonardo Ortiz and Fernando Gonzalez upset the top seeded team of Martin Echandi and Kenneth Thome.  Ortiz and Gonzalez won in straight sets 6-3 6-4. 

In the second Men' s Open Semifinal the team of Davis Cup hopefuls Ignaci Roca and Daniel Quesada dismissed Francisco Conejo and Michael Jara.  Roca and Quesada played with a lot of energy and intensity leading to a decisive victory 6-1 6-4. 

The Men's A category semifinals hit the courts midmorning on Saturday.  The first semifinal pitched Andres Martinez and Jocksan Chavarria against Patrick Robert and Mauricio Bolanos.  Martinez and Chavarria prevailed in straight sets 6-3 6-2.  In the second semifinal match the team of Antonio Blanco and Salvador Castillo took out Ronald Delgado and Gonzalo Chinchilla 6-2 6-4.  

The Audi Cup resumed with more round robin play from the Women´s A Category.  In the afternoon matches Jara and Fiorillo downed the Hull sisters 6-0 7-5.  Nextdoor Quesada and Gallego overcame Cortes and Vianello 6-2 7-5.

Sunday morning opened with the conclusion of the Women's A round robin play.  The Hull sisters won handily against Cortes and Vianello 6-2 6-2.  The last Women´s match on court resulted in the team of Jara and Fiorillo defeating Quesada and Gallego 6-0 6-2.  The only team to make it through round robin play undefeated and the 2013 Audi Summer Cup Women´s A Category Champions are Marjorie Jara and Tatiana Fiorillo. 

The first men's final to take the court Sunday was the Open Category.  In the most entertaining match of the weekend Roca and Quesada came from a set down to complete a three set comeback.  Roca and Quesada had to not only deal with determined opponents but also extremely windy conditions. 

Roca's first thoughts after the match, "Today's conditions were very difficult to play in.  The wind really affected everything on the court".  Quesada added, "We were fortunate to catch a couple breaks and get into a third set and from there we played better and took care of our serve games".  Roca and Quesada completed their comeback with a score of 3-6 6-3 6-4. 

The final match of the day on Sunday was the Men's Category A final Blanco and Castillo took on Martinez and Chavarria.  Martinez and Chavarria captured the first set 6-4 before a shift in momentum to the veteran team.  However, the young team of Martinez and Chavarria recovered from down a break early in the second set to complete their straight sets victory 6-3 6-4.

506 and OTA look forward to continuing to grow tennis in conjunction with the Costa Rican Tennis Federation (FCT).  Through the work of each of these three organizations Costa Rican tennis is headed along the right path and big things appear to be on the near horizon.

A small group of audience wathc the men's double final match during the Audi Summer Cup 2013 Sunday morning, feb. 17, 2013 at 506 tennis Center. This was the first time the finals for this national tournament were hosted in Nosara.

A racket bag, signed by Rafael Nadal, a Spanish professional tennis player, sits by the bench during the men's double final match of Audi Summer Cup 2013 Sunday morning, Feb. 17, 2013 at 506 Tennis Center, La Esperanza, Nosara.

Ignaci Roca, left, waits for the next hit, after his partner Daniel Quesada hits the ball during the men's double final match of Audi Summer Cup 2013 Sunday morning, Feb. 17, 2013 at 506 Tennis Center, La Esperanza, Nosara. The two won the game.

Jose Naranjo, left, Paul Vargas, Peter Aart, Sam Carver and Carlos Brava pose for a portrait after men's double final match for the Audi Summer Cup 2013 Sunday morning, Feb. 17, 2013 at 506 Tennis Center. Vargas, Aart and Carver took part in bringing the finals to Nosara for the first time.



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