YARMOUTH — The 28th edition of the venerable Betty Blakeman Memorial Tennis Tournament will be remembered for fresh courts, phenomenal weather, an epic 55-plus men’s final and a pair of top seeds prevailing in the men’s and women’s open singles events.

Dana Parziale of South Portland and Olivia Leavitt of Falmouth lived up to their No. 1 seedings Sunday afternoon on the reconstructed blue-and-green courts of Yarmouth High School.

Leavitt, a rising junior at Brandeis University, won her second straight Blakeman title, dropping only a single game in each of her three matches in under an hour against her old Falmouth High teammate, unseeded Caroline Ray.

Parziale, a 2016 Blakeman finalist who is a teaching pro at The Racket & Fitness Center, defeated No. 3 Will Sharton 6-4, 6-1 in a 68-minute men’s open final.

The best match of the day came in the men’s 55-and-old final. After three hours and five minutes, Ron Chicoine of Lewiston unseated defending champion Jim Levesque of Bowdoin 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7). Chicoine, 55, and Levesque, 60, each came within a point of winning the match before Chicoine finally converted his third such opportunity.

Earlier Sunday, the second-seeded Chicoine beat No. 3 Bert Cole 6-2, 6-1 in a rematch of the 1980 Maine schoolboy singles final. Cole, then of Cape Elizabeth, beat Chicoine 6-3, 6-3 at South Portland High before each went on to play collegiate tennis, Cole at Bates and Chicoine at the University of Maine.

The Blakeman is actually nine tournaments rolled into one, with the 85-player men’s open field being the largest bracket. Played out over three days both at Yarmouth High and satellite sites amid the backdrop of the Clam Festival, the tournament raised more than $21,000 this year for the Cancer Community Center of South Portland.

Leavitt and Ray, a sophomore at Stonehill College, learned they would meet on Sunday when their semifinal matches on Saturday night ended within minutes of each other.

Leavitt’s reaction?

“Yes, this is awesome. We can literally make jokes and giggle on the court. That’s the whole spirit of the Blakeman, to show everyone really good points and have fun. It’s the spirit of tennis.”

Despite having split sets in practice three days earlier – “We practice together a lot, or try to when we’re home,” Leavitt said – the 18-year-old Ray held serve in the second game and didn’t win another the rest of the match. Leavitt, 20, dropped only a single game in each of her three matches.

“I caught Caroline with some pretty used legs (Sunday),” said Leavitt, who waited more than two hours for Ray to complete a semifinal victory in the women’s doubles tournament with partner Rosemary Campanella 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5.

“Three sets of doubles is something I wasn’t expecting, or anticipating,” Ray said, “but we pulled it out, so I was happy.”

In Saturday’s semifinals, Leavitt beat unseeded Megan Nathanson and Ray, who had dispatched No. 2 Megan Collins in the quarters, knocked off No. 3 Rebecca Stone, 6-2, 6-3.

With the bigger men’s draw, Parziale required five victories simply to reach the finals. There were 16 seeds, including two-time schoolboy state champion Nick Mathieu at No. 4. A recent graduate of Mt. Ararat in Topsham, Mathieu was upset in the Round of 16 by 14-year-old Nathan Mao 6-7 (7-4), 7-5, 6-1. A soon-to-be ninth grader at Mt. Ararat, Mao already had taken down another seed, No. 13 Tim Lacombe, in straight sets the previous round.

George Samander, a Bentley College senior who hails from Curacao, finally dispatched Mao in the quarters, only to fall 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 to Parziale in Sunday morning’s semifinals. The other semifinal featured a pair of Georgetown University teammates, Sharton and No. 7 Bart Panarese, who both grew up in Massachusetts. Sharton prevailed 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 while Parziale waited for the winner.

In the finals, Sharton jumped ahead 2-0, fell behind 4-3 and 0-40 before holding serve to tie the set at four games apiece.

“I kind of thought I had it there,” Sharton said. “Then he played two good games after that and kind of took me out of it.”

Parziale, ranked No. 1 among New England USTA men in both singles and doubles, won eight of the next nine games to win the match.

“I missed a lot early on but I had to keep swinging,” Parziale said. “I’d been sitting around for a while, waiting for his semifinal to finish, and I needed to loosen up. By the end of the (first set), my shots were landing. That made the difference.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

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