City men’s open singles finalists Michael Blevins and Matt Malinsky have known each other for almost two years as teaching pros at Tipton Lakes Athletic Club.
The pair have wanted to play tennis against each other during that time span, but scheduling conflicts and other circumstances prevented that from happening. On Wednesday, they finally were able to square off.
Blevins, the top seed, was the one to prevail. He defeated the second-seeded Malinsky 6-3, 6-2 for his second consecutive city championship.
The match was originally scheduled to be played at Columbus North High School, but a late afternoon shower delayed matches and moved them indoors to Tipton Lakes. Blevins, who had moved to Columbus in March of 2015, felt comfortable with the move inside.
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“It feels great to win,” Blevins said. “Having it move indoors helped a lot, and it tailored well to my game, especially my serve. I did not have the wind or the sun affect me any.”
In addition to teaching at Tipton Lakes, Malinsky coaches the Columbus East girls tennis team. He was within 4-3 in the first set before Blevins won the final two games to close it out.
The second set was closer than the score indicated, but Blevins proved to be too tough.
“It was everything I expected (Blevins) would do,” Malinsky said.
“He is very sharp, and he knows all the angles and put a lot of pace on it. His serve was really good today. I had some opportunities, but I could not capitalize on them.”
In the women’s open doubles championship, Madelyn Sanders and Shweta Srinivasan added more hardware for this year’s tournament by defeating Hauser girls tennis coach Molly Crabtree and Lisa Nelson 6-0, 6-2.
Sanders beat Srinivasan in Tuesday’s girls 18-and-under singles final. Both are members of the girls tennis team at North.
“We played doubles together before earlier this summer, and it is a lot of fun playing with Shweta, and we play well off of each other,” Sanders said.
“(Sanders) is better at the net, and I play better along the baseline,” Srinivasan said. “It is a great combination to have.”
In the men’s B doubles championship, Tom Cote and Rob Likens beat Isaac Jackson and Christopher Ruble 6-4, 6-4.
In the mixed open doubles final, Dana Scott and Taylor Kinney defeated former North tennis player Paige Littrell and her father Jody Littrell 7-5, 6-4.
The final two matches of the day and the tournament were incomplete at press time. Scott Bailey and Pete Khensouri were playing John Burnett and Dave Burnett in the men’s 45 doubles final, and Blevins and Malinsky were facing Danny Frastaci and Michael Schoumacher in the men’s open doubles final.