LIMA - Sometimes it doesn’t take long for tennis players to find chemistry on the court.
At this weekend’s Lima Area Tennis Association’s mixed doubles tournament at the University of Northwestern Ohio’s Tennis Courts, it was merely a few serves and a couple forehand smashes at the net before John Kidd and Diane French realized it was going to work just fine.
After cruising through Saturday’s quarterfinals and semifinals with easy wins, Kidd and French put away Andrea Arango-Brown and Isaac Hanover in Sunday’s finals 6-2, 6-0.
Both Kidd and French were dominant around the net. At times, Kidd’s serve seemed nearly impossible to return.
“Right from the get-go, it seemed like we were a great team,” Kidd said. “We both like being at the net and have good hands. I think it (style of play) suits our chemistry really well.”
Kidd won this year’s LATA singles title. French was coming off the national circuit where she’s been playing with her son Brandon French in the USTA Mother/Son Division.
French will be back on tour with her son in September when they play in the National Clay Court Championships in Washington, D.C.
In Sunday’s finals, Arango-Brown and Hanover made French and Kidd work, winning a couple games. However, as the match progressed, both Kidd and French found their groove.
“I think we just started off a little slow,” French said about Sunday’s start. “They hit some really nice shots. They played really well, the first couple of games. Then, we started to get it together, like after the fourth game (of the first set).”
Kidd, a former multi-sport standout at Lima Central Catholic and tennis standout at the University of Findlay, said this weekend would probably not be the last time they play together.
“My elbow is starting to get to me a little bit. So, I don’t know if I’ll play anymore tournaments this summer. But, it does sound like we will try to repeat next year (LATA mixed doubles),” he said.
Added French, “We’re going to come back together. But, I think we need a little time to recuperate.”
In the combined 70-and-over age bracket, Jeanna Haggard and Jeff Arthur defeated Mary Lou Roush and Brad Kelley in their final match of the round-robin format 6-1, 6-1, to win the title.
Both Haggard and Arthur have been very active in past LATA events. However, this weekend was the first time the two of them have teamed up in mixed doubles action.
“I just met him yesterday,” Haggard said with a smile. “Jeff Brown (tournament director and Westwood Tennis director/instructor) set it up – for us to play together. He’s a great player. So, he made it really easy.”
Last year, Haggard paired up with Mark Bauman to win the mixed doubles draw crown.
“It’s great when you have somebody that’s going to get everything behind you,” Arthur said. “You can kind of play your game up front.”
In the consolation finals, Mike Klock and Kaitlin Snider knocked off Madison Schroeder and Justin Haggard 6-2, 6-3.
In the juniors (singles) draw bracket, it was two Shawnee middle-school students battling in Sunday’s finals. Mason Stahl outlasted Gabe Burke 6-3, 4-6 (10-2) to garner the title.
In the consolation match of the juniors draw, Grace Lott defeated Mac Davis 8-6.
This weekend, Jeff Arthur and Mackenzie Wills were named the LATA Summer Tour Champions.