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On Sunday the 10th of March 2013, the 8th annual McDaniel Teaching Pros Tennis Tournament came to a very exciting close at the La Romana Country club – as Francisco Concepción and Pedro Nolsaco went head to head in the finals.
Pedro Nolasco, undefeated champion of the McDaniel Teaching Pros Tennis Tournament since 2010, and #4 ranked tennis player in the Dominican Republic (2012), was without a doubt the favorite to win again this year… and when he won the first set with what looked like relative ease, many in the crowd thought it would be Pedro crowned the champion yet again.
Pedro Nolasco in the finals at the La Romana Country Club
However, mid-way into the second set and with the encouragement of the crowd, Francisco Concepcion, the tournament champion from 2007 to 2009 and also the tournament runner-up for the last three years, suddenly started to take control and little by little began to win points, then games and then the set off of Pedro.
Going into the 3rd set with these two incredibly talented and passionate players neck and neck was possibly the most thrilling moment in tennis seen at the La Romana Country Club. The crowd were on the edges of their seats, ohh-ing and ahh-ing over great shots and even cheering. The excitement reached a peak as the score went from 5-3 to 5-4, as Pedro started to fight his way back into the game. But in the end it was Francisco, who won the final point, game match…a moment which sent his fan club (the most adorable group of ball boys) flooding onto the court to congratulate him and filled the champion with such pride that he came forward to thank Rick McDaniel, founder of the event, with tears in his eyes.
Francisco and his fanclub of ball boys
Congratulations to Francisco!
Pedro, Tom, Rick, Francisco and Emilio
Following the match, the ball boys, professionals, players, the tournament committee and guests enjoyed dinner and drinks on the lawn of the La Romana Country Club – where the prize-giving ceremony was also held.
During the prize-giving ceremony, Rick McDaniel, took a moment to thank the tournament committee; Tom Wahl, Rebecca Hughes, Emilio Vásquez, Lynn Robinson, Lou Gilmore, Stan Couldrey, Pablo Green and Adonis Siervodedios, as well as Phyllis Berney, this year’s honorary chairman. And with the announcement that this year the tournament raised an incredible US$46,000 – there was a great round of applause in appreciation for the numerous independent donors from the Casa de Campo community, as well as for all the corporate sponsors – including Charles Schwab, the Hank Greer Foundation, Wilson Sports and Silgon Inc.
The crowd at the La Romana Country Club!
The McDaniel Teaching Pros Tennis Tournament is the principle fundraising effort for the Ball Boy’s Scholarship Fund, which now finances the education of a total of 20 ball boys and 1 ball girl – as well as the college education of one outstanding ball boy, who has now graduated from school and will now, thanks to the McDaniel Foundation, be able to continue his education at university!
The following collection of photos were take at the finals of the McDaniel Teaching Pros Tennis Tournament on Sunday the 10th of March 2013 at the La Romana Country Club in Casa de Campo: