LIMA — John Kidd’s tennis game has improved exponentially in the past few years, and the evidence was on full display Sunday.
Kidd stormed past Jeff Brown 6-4, 6-1 to repeat as the Men’s Division champion in the Lima City Singles Tennis Tournament at UNOH. Andrea Arango beat Lauren Rovner 6-4, 6-0 to win the Women’s championship.
The Singles tournament is the second of three City tournaments put on by the Lima Area Tennis Association this summer. The Mixed Doubles tournament begins Friday.
Kidd beat Brown a year ago in the finals also, however, that match was a battle that ended 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.
“Last year, he won the first set and I had to fight back, so I knew (today) I had to get off to an early start and not get behind early,” said Kidd, a junior at the University of Findlay. “We played a lot last summer so it was a great match. He was able to hit a lot last summer, and this summer I think he’s been teaching a lot more. I’ve been able to get out and hit about three times a week this summer.
“(Sunday) it was a grind the first set. Luckily I got an early break on Jeff(’s serve), and I was able to hold serve the rest of the set. I think it kind of demoralized him.”
Kidd took over in the second set, not only using his serve and volley but mixing in a lot of ground strokes and attacking at the net when the opportunity came up. It was an example of how much his game has improved in two years playing for the Oilers.
“It’s improved tremendously actually, from my senior year in high school to my freshman year to now,” said Kidd, who played third singles and second doubles at Findlay this past season. “I used to be just a serve and volley-er and now my ground stroke game, my forehand and backhand, everything is just improving a lot. It was good to finally put a good match out there.”
It was Kidd’s fourth time playing in the singles tournament. He’s also played in the doubles tournament twice prior to this year, teaming with Alex Swick to take first and third.
Meanwhile, this is the first year Arango has played in the Lima City tournaments. Last week, she teamed with Kaylee Davis to win the women’s doubles title. On Sunday, she beat Rovner in straight sets.
“It was a good match, the first set was tough,” said Arango, who played first singles for UNOH the past three years. “We were really close and in the second match, I think she slowed down and I got my confidence back.
“I’ve never played with her before, we kind of hit last month twice but that’s it. She uses high lobs and sides, she feels comfortable with my ball. Jeff (Brown) told me she’s comfortable with my ball because it’s hard, so I wanted to slow the speed of my shots down a bit.”
Brown is Arango’s boyfriend, and she said they may team up in the Mixed Doubles tournament this coming week. However, Brown might play in a Toledo tournament.
“I play at Westwood all the time and (Jeff) and Kaylee told me I should play in (the City tournament),” Arango said. “Every single summer I go home (to Colombia) but this is my first time staying to take summer classes. So to play in this tournament and win two weekends in a row is pretty nice.”
Kaitlin Snider took third place in the Women’s Division while Liz Kidd won the consolation finals, beating Paige Collins 6-2, 6-2.
Brandon French claimed third in the Men’s Division. Shane Grimes won the consolation final 6-2, 6-4 over Troy Hile.