LIMA — Before heading off in separate directions for college life, Liz and John Kidd teamed up on the tennis courts this weekend.
The sister-brother duo won the Lima Area Tennis Association’s Mixed Doubles championship Sunday, beating the son and mother team of Alex French and Diane French 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 at the UNOH Tennis Courts.
The mixed doubles tournament was the third and final city tennis tournament put on by LATA this summer.
It was the third time Liz Kidd and John Kidd have teamed up in the tournament but the first time they claimed the title. A year ago, they lost in the finals to Ashley Swick and Alex Swick.
“It was fun out there today,” Liz Kidd said. “(John) teaches me while we’re out there and while we’re practicing. Sometimes I get frustrated because he’s my big brother, but it’s always fun playing with John.”
Liz recently graduated from Lima Central Catholic and is headed to Ashland University for her education. John, meanwhile, is a junior at the University of Findlay where he played third singles and second doubles at Findlay this past season.
Last week, John won the men’s city singles championship.
“This one means more to me than the singles one because I’m playing with my sister,” Kidd said. “We both love the game of tennis, and we both love to compete, so it’s even sweeter that we can go out there and play.
“It’s almost like the last family bonding thing we can do before we head off to college, so it’s great.”
The Kidds started like a house on fire in the finals but the French duo stopped all their momentum in the second set with a 4-6 win.
“The middle of the match, the second set we had some mental lapses,” John said. “Give the Frenches credit, they took it to us in the second set, they didn’t walk over, they took it to us and forced that third set.”
But in the third set, John and Liz stormed out to a 3-0 lead. From there, they didn’t look back.
“The second set was tough,” Liz said. “We went down but we came back in that third set ready to start over. We just had more confidence, it was a whole new ballgame.”
Terry Hilborn and Emma Fernandez took third place, beating Jenna Haggard and Justin Haggard 6-2, 6-3. Kaitlin Snider and Ruthvik Avvari beat Kirsten Wellons and Mike Wellons 6-3, 6-0 in the consolation finals.
In the 90-plus division (partners’ combined ages must be 90 or older) finals Saturday, Mary Lou Roush and Brad Kelly beat Helena Knowles and Jeff Davis 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 to claim the championship.
“It was steady the whole way, they came out of the gate and got a big lead,” Roush said. “Then we came back and the momentum switched. Brad Kelly always is a very positive person, he just said ‘let’s focus in and move a little better,’ and we did.
“Jeff is the most mobile player of any of the teams we played, he would win the award for covering the court. I love his game. And Helena really complements him well because she moves just as well as him.”
Theresa Harper and Keith Davis won the consolation finals by forfeit over Linda Pajka and John Pajka.
Roush has claimed a slew of titles in the Lima city tournament, going back to the mid-1970s. She said since the doubles tournaments went to the different age divisions, it’s been a good thing for the health of the tournament.
“We have more participation because you know you don’t have to play a high school or college phenom, so you have a better chance,” Roush said. “And they’re giving out more awards so more people are coming out.
“I think tennis is on a resurgence, if you look at the teams. I would encourage every girl in high school to come out, my high school coach had that as a requirement in Pennsylvania, and it got my confidence up. If every girl or boy can come out and play, it’s a good thing. The participation helps groom their game for college and from college to the next level.”