Former Pioneer players sweep men's and women's open titles at Ann Arbor City Tennis Tournament
It had been four long years since there was a women's open singles flight in the annual Ann Arbor City Tennis Tournament.
For those in attendance for Sunday's final at the University of Michigan's Varsity Tennis Center, it was worth the wait.
Courtney Lymburner defeated her former Pioneer High School teammate, Paige Munroe, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 to claim her first city championship in a match that featured plenty of back-and-forth action.
Courtesy UC-Santa Cruz
“I was definitely nervous, as always,” Lymburner said. “My service game is not my strong suit, so being able to return the ball definitely helped me come back," she said. "We do a lot of stuff with a sports psychologist and we visualize how we’re going to come back from being down.”
Using those lessons, Lymburner was able to rattle off three straight games and tie the set at 4-4. Munroe took the following set before Lymburner won the next three to secure the championship.
“I think she just out-hit me,” Munroe said. “I got a little tentative in those final games. It was a fight, it was a battle.”
Teammates on Pioneer's 2010 state championship team, Lymburner and Munroe had never faced each other in a competitive matchup.
New Paltz University
In the men’s open flight, Eric Hubbard beat Juan Lopez 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to win his first city championship.
“That was fun. That was the best I’ve played in a month and that was the best I’ve seen Juan play,” Hubbard said. “It was a great match. It could have gone either way.”
In the semifinals, Hubbard knocked of defending champion Mats Ljungman 2-6, 6-0, 6-1, while Lopez defeated former three-time champion Sven Holcombe 6-2, 7-6 in a rematch of the 2010 final.
Also a graduate of Pioneer, Hubbard recently finished his career at DePauw University in Indiana, where he played both singles and doubles. Now that he is back in Ann Arbor, Hubbard was excited he got the chance to play in the tournament and even happier to win.
“I wasn’t in this last year and this is the first time winning the city open draw, so this feels great," he said. "Especially with so many great people and such great tennis.”
With his championship in the bag, Hubbard said he plans to teach tennis at Barton Hills Country Club while continuing to play in area.
Getting back into the swing of things
After taking a 24-year hiatus from playing tennis, Diane Fingar decided to pick up the sport again three years ago.
“I had a little more time and the kids were older, so I wanted to get back into tennis,” said Fingar, who gave up tennis in high school to focus on field hockey. “I started taking some clinics at Huron Valley.”
On Sunday, Fingar won the women’s 3.5 division, claiming her first city championship.
“It’s nice. There was a lot of good tennis all weekend. I had three really good matches,” Fingar said. “There were a lot of good people and a lot of great tennis.”
Sweating it out
Thanks in large part to the more than 180 registered players in this year’s tournament, many players played multiple matches on Saturday and Sunday. With temperature in the 90s on both days, the players were starting to break down on Sunday.
“I’d get in a rally and my legs just wouldn’t do what they used to do,” said Ljungman. “The format here is tough because you have to play twice on Saturday and Sunday. I wish we could play one match a day.”
“I’m dead, my legs are very sore. Playing earlier definitely makes it more difficult,” said Munroe. “We knew this was going to be a slugger.”
More flight champions
Joseph Taylor d. Terry Warner 6-2, 6-0.
Adam Bickersteth d. Maduh Gudur 6-7, 6-3, 1-0.
In-Hoe Lee d. Chris Kim 6-4, 7-6.
Ben Froehlich d. Rakesh Latchamsetty 7-5, 7-6.
David Pickard d. Michael Kappler 6-0, 6-3.
Eric Hubbard d. Juan Lopez 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Susi Shaw d. Elizabeth Shadigian 7-5, 6-0.
Diane Fingar d. Fusuka Tsujioka 6-2, 7-5.
Paula Silverman d. Michelle Mac 6-3, 6-3.
Courtney Lymburner d. Paige Munroe 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.
Complete tournament results are available on the Ann Arbor Area Community Tennis Association website.