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Tennis tourney at Warren getting bigger, better every year

Daniel Nystrom who will be sophomore Warren serves during doubles actiWarren Blue Devil Open. Warren tennis coach Greg Cohen said

Daniel Nystrom, who will be a sophomore at Warren, serves during doubles action in the Warren Blue Devil Open. Warren tennis coach Greg Cohen said Nystrom “is one of the best potential players in our program. For the limited time he has been playing, he is going to be one of our finest.” | SUBMITTED PHOTO

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Finals — Ronald Dignadice Jr. (Round Lake) def. Stefan Radovic (Grayslake) 6-2, 6-4. Consolation — Scott Knier (Vernon Hills) def. Bobby Neil (Libertyville) 6-2, 6-0.

Noteworthy — Dignadice is going to be a junior at Grayslake Central High School. He played No. 1 on the Ram’s sophomore team last year. Radovic is going to be an eighth-grader at Woodland Middle School and lives in the Warren school district. Dignadice’s closest match was in the third round against Tyler Paisley (7-6, 6-4). Paisley will be a freshman at Warren this year.


Finals — Braden Ward (Antioch) def. Miguel Tolentino (Hainesville) 6-3, 6-1.

Consolation — Kevin Boudreau (Antioch) def. Tom Tyler (Wauconda) 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 in 10-pt. tiebreaker.

Noteworthy — Ward is going to be a sophomore at Antioch High School. He was a state qualifier last year as a freshman. Tolentino is going to be a senior at Grayslake Central High School. Tolentino was a 5/6 seed at the sectional last spring. Boudreau was the No. 2 player at Antioch in 2012. After a year away at college he has decided to continue playing tennis for one year at the College of Lake County. Tom Tyler played No. 1 singles for Wauconda in 2013.


Finals — Eric Seiler (Gurnee) def. Rick Paisley (Gurnee 6-4, 6-3.

Consolation — In Su Park (Schaumburg) def. Frank Skradski (Gurnee 7-6 (5), 2-6, 11-9 in 10-pt. tiebreaker.

Noteworthy — Seiler currently plays at Ripon College in Wisconsin. He will be a junior at Ripon in the fall. He’s Seiler is one of the most decorated players in Warren history: two-time state qualifier, all-state doubles, and 116 career varsity wins. Paisley lives in Gurnee and has won medals in both the summer tournament and the Labor Day doubles tournament in the past few years. In Su Park is a friend of Matt Wilfert (Antioch) from the University of Illinois and came to the tournament to play doubles with Wilfert as well as singles. Park played his high school tennis at Conant High School. Skradski is a 1981 graduate of Antioch and is the father of current Warren player Nick Skradski.


Finals — Nikita Lunkov (Vernon Hills)/David Dobrik (Vernon Hills) def. John Westerberg (Gurnee)/Scott Seiler (Gurnee) 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4.

Consolation — Cameron Haevers (Gurnee)/Collin Schindler (Grayslake) def. Rohan Ghosh (Gurnee)/Tyler Cash (Gurnee) 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2.

Noteworthy — Lunkov/Dobrik played No. 1 doubles for Vernon Hills High School last spring until Lunkov was injured just before conference and sectional. Westerberg played doubles for Warren last spring. He played No. 1 doubles with Matt Matheny while Samuel Gudeman was out with an injury. Seiler (brother of Eric Seiler) played some No. 2 singles and some No. 3 doubles for WTHS last spring. He lost in the IHSA sectional quarterfinal (state qualifying round) to Braden Ward. Haevers and Schindler will be juniors at Warren this year. Ghosh will be a senior at Warren while Cash will be a junior at Warren this fall.


Finals — Jeff Bernales (Antioch)/Alex Donkor (Kenosha) def. Rick Paisley (Gurnee)/Randy Paisley (Chicago) 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-1.

Consolation — Nikita Lunkov (Vernon Hills)/David Dobrik (Vernon Hills) def. In Su Park (Schaumburg)/Matt Wilfert (Antioch) 6-4, 6-3.

Noteworthy — Bernales is an assistant tennis coach for both the boys and girls teams at Warren. He is also a teaching professional at College Park Tennis Club. Donkor played college tennis at Carthage and is a teaching professional. Rick and Randy Paisley are brothers that were great high school players from Dixon, Illinois in the 1970s.Randy has coached at Freeport High School and is a teaching professional in Palatine. The Paisley brothers defeated Eric Seiler and Scott Seiler in the semifinals.

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Updated: September 9, 2013 7:21PM

When Greg Cohen started this tournament nearly 20 years ago, there was no way he saw it developing into this.

“This” being, arguably, the premiere non-USTA sanctioned tennis tournament in Lake County each year.

The Warren Blue Devil open drew record numbers of participants this year, and did so even though this was a males-only competition.

There was play in boys 15-under, boys 18-under and men’s 18-over singles divisions, and in boys 18-under and men’s 18-over doubles divisions.

There were 46 singles entries and 25 doubles teams, in a bracket format that featured a consolation bracket for first-round losers.

Cohen is the longtime boys tennis coach at Warren High School in Gurnee, and proceeds from the tourney go to the Blue Devils’ net program, which enables the team to enter high-quality tournaments during the prep season that are not within driving distance of Gurnee.

“This tournament was started about two decades ago as a chance to get our kids some tournament match play,” Cohen recalled. “It has grown over the years and has provided that match play.

“We also use this now as a fundraiser for our program so that we can travel during the season to tournaments in Champaign and Rock Island.”

The quality of play this year was extremely high and, no, it was not dominated by current Warren High School tennis players.

“This year saw some incredibly tough competition and some tight matches,” Cohen noted. “The boys 18-under singles division featured three of the six seeds from last spring’s IHSA sectional (Braden Ward of Antioch, Scott Seiler of Warren and Miguel Tolentino of Grayslake Central).”

Ward won the division, beating Tolentino in the finals.

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