With heat advisories and storms in the Saturday forecast just a few days ago, City tennis championship tournament director Mike Burt wasn’t sure what to expect from the opening day of this year’s event — particularly given that the schedule was particularly front-loaded.
Fortunately, the weather cooperated. Matches went on as scheduled all day at both Columbus North High School and Donner Park.
The busiest players Saturday were also the youngest ones — the four boys and girls divisions played through the semifinal round, and champions were crowned in the two junior draws.
The junior 14 & under crown was claimed by Collin Pruitt, a 6-4 winner against Luke Sequiera in the final. Pruitt, who will be entering eighth grade at Northside, won three matches on the day.
“It was pretty tiring,” he conceded, “but I could keep through it.”
In the junior 10 & under division, Amritanshu Kar cruised through a pair of 6-0, 6-0 victories to emerge from the round-robin draw with the title.
Four more champions will be crowned beginning at 9 a.m. today.
In the girls 18 & under division, top seed Madelyn Sanders will face off against Columbus North teammate Shweta Srinivasan — who is also her partner in the women’s open doubles bracket.
The No. 1 seed in the boys 18 & under bracket, Anay Gangal, will square off against Benjamin Matthew in the final. Gangal is also playing in the men’s open singles division and won his first-round match there.
Jonah Rockey will play against top-seeded Isaac Jackson in the boys 16 & under final, while No. 1 seed Matthew Liu will play Joseph Kloepfer for the boys 14 & under crown. Kloepfer needed to go to a third-set tiebreaker to knock off Bhavey Jain in his semifinal match.
The men’s and women’s open doubles semifinals also will be played today, with the women going at 12:30 and the men at 2:30 p.m.
On the women’s side, Sanders and Srinivasan will face Bev Chinn and Karen Day, while Debbie Fellers and Ann Sombun will play against Molly Crabtree and Lisa Nelson.
In the men’s semis, the No. 1-seeded team of Michael Blevins and Matt Malinsky will take on Rahul Jha and Ranjit Salvi. The other semifinal features Alex Galle and JoJo Woolwine against Danny Frastaci and Michael Schoumacher.
Blevins and Malinsky are also the top two seeds in the men’s open singles division and face quarterfinal matches in that draw today.