LIMA — A couple of early key break points and a whole lot of sweat.
That is what it took for the Neuman brothers and the women’s double’s team of Andrea Arango-Brown and Olivia Kesner to help notch the doubles crowns in their respective brackets to cap off the second leg of the Lima Area Tennis Association (LATA) city tournament at the University Northwestern Ohio Sunday.
In the men’s division, Landon Neuman and his brother Evan, both Elida products who also played at Wright State University, defeated Jeff Brown and Jeff Arthur in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
“The heat made it pretty gruelling today but it was a lot of fun and we did what we had to do to win,” Landon Neuman said.
The Neuman pair jumped on the Brown-Arthur tandem early and got some quick break points to jump out to a 4-1 advantage in the first set that eventually led to a 6-2 win.
In the second set, the Neuman once again gained control of the match when they went up 3-1 after a break point in the third set.
Soaked in a sweat, Brown and Arthur avoided a second break to narrow the score to 3-2 and fought to get it to 5-4 but could not get a break themselves and the Neuman’s held on to secure the 6-4 set and the match.
“We were able to get a couple of breaks in the first set and hold our serve in the second set,” Landon Neuman said. “The first set went pretty smooth when you get an early break.”
Landon Neuman added he knew Brown and Arthur were not going to go down without a fight.
The Neuman brothers have been playing competitively since their high school days in the early 2000s and said that, along with some great coaching and a lot of practice were instrumental in them winning the doubles tournament. Landon Neuman graduated in 2007 and Evan graduated in 2009. The two played together at Elida and at Wright State University.
“We had a lot of good coaches growing up like Ron Dredge and Jerome Mentor who was a great doubles player taught us how to play doubles. We had a lot of good coaches and we practiced a lot,” said Landon Neuman.
While one Brown had to settle for second place, Arango-Brown, married to Brown, along with her partner Kesner, also jumped on their opponents, Morgan Chaney and Kunmi Ojo, to garner the women’s title.
Brown and Kesner cruised to a 6-1 win in the first set but in the second set Ojo and Chaney were the aggressors early and jumped out to a 3-1 advantage. However, Brown and Kesner responded by winning the next two sets to regain the lead and took the next two of three win the match and the title.
“They are great players,” Arango-Brown said about her opponents and their play in the second set. “They make a great team. It was a little scary at times but we kept fighting. It seemed like every game we were down love -40 we came back and got it done.”
Arango-Brown said the communication between her and Kesner was the key to the victory.
Kesner, who has been mentored by Arango-Brown and helped teach tennis, echoed those sentiments.
“We teach other classes together and we are really good friends,” Kesner said. “We go out and get ice cream and go shopping so we are always together.”
The LATA tournament concludes this weekend with the mixed doubles competition.