Tennis tournament wraps amid heat

Published 12:18 pm Monday, June 22, 2015

WORKING FOR THE POINT: Skye Hayman fights through fatigue to run to the net before losing a point to Katherine Fritts.

WORKING FOR THE POINT: Skye Hayman fights through fatigue to run to the net before losing a point to Katherine Fritts.

Although it was hot, there was a lot of tennis played at the Mississippi Mudcats Novice and Intermediate tournament at Halls Ferry Park this weekend.

“You can never really get totally used to it, but if there’s such a thing, being here in Vicksburg we’re kind of used to it,” said Rick Shields director of the Vicksburg tennis program. “We try to make it so they don’t play too much tennis.” he said.

Shields said day two of the tournament was real good and saw better matches as players were evenly matched against one another. Vicksburg natives played good tennis as Adam Eckstein won the boy’s 14-year-old singles championship.

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“Will Farthing won the boy’s 12-year-old singles championship,” Shields said. “All the Eckstein’s did well. Adrienne [Eckstein] is playing in the consolation game. Alex Velazquez played well, from Warren Central and George Wilkerson from Warren Central played well.”

Velazquez and Wilkerson met on day three of the tournament for the boy’s 16-year-old singles championship match. Velazquez, who was not seeded in the tournament, won the match against his Warren Central teammate 6-4, 6-2.

Both teammates played well but Shields said Velazquez was more aggressive with his play.

“I noticed he was at the net more and was a more of the aggressor,” he said. “I thought that made a difference in the match. They both play well from the baseline, but since Alex mixed it up a bit more, playing baseline and the net, that was the difference in the match.”

Logan Young won the girl’s sportsmanship award and was thankful. Young thanked her parents for teaching her to play nice and use her manners. Young said her weekend was fun and exciting because of all the new people she met. Her favorite match from the weekend was her second singles match because her partner was courteous to her and made her feel welcomed.

The duration of the girls 16-year-old singles championship match lasted long than most feature films such as “Jurassic World” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron;” 2 hours and 40 minutes to be exact.

“I feel like death,” Skye Haymon said jokingly after winning the girls 16-year-old singles championship.

“I just want to sleep for three weeks,” Kathrine Fritts said.

Madison Central teammates Fritts and Haymon began play around 8:20 a.m. Sunday and finished just around 11 a.m. They played a tiebreaker in the first and third sets.

To put things in perspective, Haymon estimates they ran about three miles during the match.

Exhaustion was evident as players came in from the sun to sit in the shade between games. Haymon at one point was shaking due to extended game play, but she remained hydrated sipping Gatorade to finish the match. Fritts ran into a fence and didn’t notice as it occurred.

Haymon said she and Fritts kind of goofed off during the first set but at the end of it, Haymon realized she had to finish the match.

“We’re friends so we kind of kept it lighthearted the whole time and had fun with it,” Fritts said.

Haymon and Fritts claim they have similar styles of play, which is long and consistent. They played a lot of deep rallies in the final set and also happened to play two consecutive 20-shot rallies.

After playing this exhausting singles match, Haymon and Fritts turned around 30 minutes later and played a doubles match with Young and Avery Douglass respectively.

Haymon defended her side of the court well in the beginning and Fritts was excellent at returning balls at the net. Ultimately fatigued caught up with both players as Haymon and Fritts both looked tired running for balls at the baseline.

The matched ended with Douglass hitting an overhand to Fritts and Douglass and Haymon winning the match.