The inaugural Crabel Capital Men’s 60 Masters Invitational Championships was played on the unrivaled grass courts at Mission Hills Country Club. The best twelve singles players and the top eight doubles teams in the country competed in the week long Round Robin. The winners and finalists of the four Men’s 60 National Championships were invited to play. Players who performed exceptionally well during the year filled the remaining spots.
The participants included: Brent Abel, Chris Bennett, Chris Bussert, Sal Castillo, Robert Castorri, Toby Crabel, Geoff Cykman, Tim Garcia, John Holladay, Kevin Kearney, Rollin Rhone, Fred Robinson, Dave Sivertson, Tom Smith, Andrew Stanley, Dan Waldman and Len Wofford.
The competitive format was the same as the one used by the ATP Tour year-end final in London. Players and teams were divided into Blue and Green groups and played matches against every player/team in their group. The two players/teams, in each group with the best records, then faced the players/team with the best results in the other groups.
Waldman defeated Robinson, 6-4, 7-6, in the singles final. Castillo and Garcia downed Castorri and Smith, 7-6, 6-2, for the doubles trophy. Crabel, the tournament sponsor, outlasted Cykman, in the third/fourth place playoff, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1. Cykman and Wofford earned third place in the doubles when Holladay and Kearney provided them with a walkover.
“Along with the ATP and WTA year-end finals, the Men’s 60 division had a similar Senior Masters Championships that recognized the true 2015 National champions,” Steve Solomon, the event’s organizer, said. “In addition to the prestige of playing in the first event of its kind, $25,000 in prize money was provided by Crabel Capital. It was allocated to the players based on their performances.”
Given the location, the event’s professional set-up and the funding available, praise for the tournament was unanimous. The participants couldn’t have been more pleased.
“The testimonials were genuine and glowing,” Solomon said. “What surprised me was the stated intent by each player to work hard to promote more of what they experienced. Typically, players at this level focus much of their time obsessing about their ranking and dwelling on ‘what if?’ moments in matches that might’ve gone their way. This group was different. Everyone wants to give back, contribute in a big way and play a role in growing the sport in a better way. Hopefully, the USTA will gain and expand from this successful example.”