LIMA — This year’s edition of the Lima Area Tennis Association singles tournament got under way Friday evening even though the matches were forced indoors due to the inclement weather.
And don’t look now but there is a youth movement happening in the women’s flight.
According to tournament director, and defending champion, Jeff Brown the number of entrants this year is good but not great.
“We have 18 men and 17 women plus six women in the over 30 flight,” Brown said. “We lose some players to out of town tournaments being played at the same time.”
Brown is the head professional at both the Shawnee Country Club and Westwood Tennis and Fitness Center.
Friday play was moved to Westwood and the first round of the tournament was able to be completed with a couple exceptions.
The over 30 flight is being played in a round robin format with the winner getting the most points. First round action saw Mary Lou Roush win 6-1, 6-4 over Deserene Brown, Barbie Prince with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Joan Collar, and Brenda Horvath took a 6-2, 7-6 win over Cindy Schneck.
The men’s flight saw Kevin Recker best John Dell 6-0, 6-3 while Jake Liddle knocked off Timmy Rutter 6-1, 7-5. Ben Brinkman won by default over Isaac Elston and Michael Rutter beat Jeff Kaufman 6-2, 6-0. Emerson Hagar won 6-2, 6-0 over Craig Recker while Jack Gilberg took a 6-1, 6-3 decision over Scott Wills. Jason Barton bested Kannen Wannemacher 6-1, 6-1.
“I’ve been playing a lot; preparing for my senior year (at Shawnee).” Michael Rutter said. “I would like to get farther in the state tournament next year and stack up some USTA points.”
The men’s quarterfinals are scheduled to begin play at 11:15 a.m. Saturday at the UNOH courts with the conclusion of the tourney scheduled for Sunday.
The women’s flight saw Katie Clark beat Esther Bolon 7-6, 6-1 before Clark dropped a 6-0, 6-0 match to 11-year old Marina Fuduric. Lauren Snider won 5-7, 6-4, 10-4 over Ruby Bolon while Sanjana Rajasekaran bested Michaela Rutter 6-4, 6-1. Other women flight winners included Mackenzie Wills over Makayla Schroder 6-2, 6-0 and Erin Hotmire took a 6-1, 6-2 win over Kelsey Flowers. Nine-year-old Lucia Fuduric beat Katie Wright 6-0, 6-3 and Kaitlin Snider won 6-2, 6-1 over Miranda Wills.
Lucia Fuduric is the younger sister of Marina and is playing in her first city tournament.
“I’m excited, I play in a lot of summer camps and tournaments in Florida,” Lucia Fuduric, who will be a fourth grader at St. Charles, said.
When asked about the possibility of playing her older sister – they are in different brackets and couldn’t meet until the tournament final – Lucia hesitated for just an instant.
“I would really like to have the chance to play her.” Lucia said.