LIMA – For former Shawnee tennis standout Lauren Rovner, coming back to Lima for summer break from college has been more than a vacation.
The Case Western Reserve junior has won the Lima City Singles Tennis Tournament the past four summers.
This weekend Rovner will be gunning for her fifth City title.
In Friday’s first-round action at the University of Northwestern Ohio tennis courts, Rovner cruised to an easy 6-0, 6-0 victory over Meghana Chanamolu.
Rovner will face Anita Kottapoli today at 10 a.m. in a quarterfinal match. Kottapoli disposed of Liz Kidd, 6-2, 6-2 in the championship bracket.
Last year, Rovner defeated Kaylee Davis in the championship match. In her first-round match on Friday, Davis advanced by way of a forfeit.
Despite being the defending champion, Rovner is not going to take this year’s field lightly.
“It’s always fun (to play in the City tournament),” Rovner said. “I get to play tennis where I learned to play tennis. So, it’s always fun to come back and show how much I’ve improved.”
Rovner had a solid sophomore season at Case Western. She’s looking forward to the upcoming season.
“It went really well,” Rovner said. “I was No. 7 and there were six starters. So, I got to travel and play when people were injured or out of town, or whatever the case was.
“It was really exciting, because we got to play a lot more ranked teams than we have before. We didn’t do as well as we would have liked, but now we’re ready for it and we know what we’re up against for next season.”
Other notable quarterfinal matchups slated for today include: Claudia Llanes/Kaitlyn Snider; Joan Collar/Kaylee Davis and Chelsea Meyers/Andrea Arango.
On the men’s side, former Lima Central Catholic standout John Kidd returns to defend his title.
Last year Kidd defeated Jeff Brown in the championship match to claim his first City title.
Kidd now plays on the University of Findlay tennis team. Kidd, a junior at Findlay, enjoys coming back to play against athletes he grew up with.
“It’s always good to get back and represent Lima tennis,” Kidd said. “It’s where I grew up. It’s always good to represent where you’re from. So, that’s why I try to get out here and play in the Lima (City) tournament.”
Kidd easily won his opening match Friday, defeating Daniel Kesner 6-0, 6-0.
Kidd will face Ryan Barton today in a quarterfinal at 10 a.m.
Kidd is fitting in with the Findlay program.
“This past year we brought in two really good recruits. I played second singles my freshman year,” Kidd said. “Then, I played third singles this year and played second doubles. This past year we had our best finish in school history. We finished second in our conference, which is the best a tennis team at Findlay has ever done. So, we’re very excited.”
Kidd realizes that winning the City tournament back-to-back is not an easy task.
“I’m just going to take it one match at a time. There’s some good competition out here and anyone can come out and beat you. So, you have to take every point and every match serious.
Other notable men’s quarterfinals that will take place today include Jason Barton/Brandon Amstutz; Jeff Brown/Isaac Elston and Brandon French/Emerson Hager.