Tennis players earn first Catskills Cup prizes
It was a beautiful weekend of tennis at the first-ever Catskills Cup on Saturday and Sunday, which replaced the long-running Fleischmanns Open.
In the Men’s A Flight, Ib Ilesanmi finished first, defeating Dave Pfister 6-4, 6-0 to claim the title. Ilesanmi took home $750 in prize money while Pfister claimed $250.
In the Men’s B Flight, Michael Ladissa placed first to claim an Emerson Spa Hotel Package valued at $700. He defeated second-place winner A.J. Gangavalli 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
On the women’s side, Laurie Leahy defeated Sandy Garz 6-2, 6-1 to claim the $350 first prize. Garz took home $150.
In the Open Doubles bracket, the first-place duo of Jacek Krzeminski and Paul Gorzula defeated Wojtek Rogawski and Michael Celinski 6-4 6-2 to claim the $500 prize.
The tournament was preceded by a dinner dance Friday night to honor the founders of the Fleischmanns Open and the four inaugural members of The Fleischmanns Tennis Hall of Fame.
Inducted in the inaugural class were Sindy Becker, Henry Birman, Kingdon Gould and Muriel Stone.
Becker, a Fleischmanns resident, is a primary founder and longtime organizer of the tournament. “She is tennis in Fleischmanns,” said tournament director Mark Birman. “If not for her, there would be no courts in Fleischmanns.”
Birman, of Halcott Center, is a benefactor and patron of the courts who has participated in the first-ever tournament and has participated almost every year since.
Gould, who has been the tournament champion a number of times, is also a patron of the courts who has made many significant donations over the years.
Stone, a longtime player with an impressive tournament record, along with her family has made significant contributions to the upkeep of the courts.