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Athletic club tennis director triumphant in men’s finale

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NO one would have blamed Matt Malinsky if he hadn’t told his new boss about the Columbus city tennis tournament.

After all, Malinsky had made the finals five times but had lost each time. Wednesday night, Tipton Lakes Athletic Club director of tennis John Veit became the sixth player to beat Malinsky in the men’s open singles finals with a 6-3, 6-2 decision.

“I didn’t know anything about (the city tourney),” Veit said. “Matt talked to me about it, and I thought that was a fun idea, and we ended up deciding to play doubles together. Too bad for him, I decided to play singles, too, but he’s a great player, and he’ll get lots more shots at this tournament.”

Veit, 36, has been in town a little more than two months since moving from Midland, Michigan, to take the job at Tipton Lakes.

“It’s a great event and a great town,” Veit said. “We’re new to Columbus, and this is one of the many special things we like about this town.”

The victory was Veit’s second in as many tournaments since moving to Columbus. He also won an event in Greenwood.

“I’m lucky usually if I get to play in one tournament a year, but already this year, I’ve played in two,” Veit said. “I have four boys at home, so playing tournaments is kind of a luxury for me.”

Malinsky, a teaching pro at Tipton Lakes, jumped out to an early 2-0 first-set lead after breaking Veit’s serve in the opening game. Malinsky said the pair hit together a couple times a week at the club, and he had broken Veit only once before.

“I had a good couple of games at the very beginning,” Malinsky said. “After that, I never was as sharp as those first two games the rest of the match. In that second set, he kind of got a groove on the serve, and then he started placing his volleys better.”

“I started to assert my accuracy a little bit more in the second set,” Veit said. “But I think he was coming up with some nice passing shots in the first set under pressure that helped him out. He was hitting some beautiful passing shots and mixing it up very well, but I started to get a little more into my rhythm in the second set.”

Despite his lack of a city title, Malinsky, a former Columbus East standout, isn’t preoccupied with winning one.

“As time goes on, I think less about the tournament, less about if I’m going to win it or not and more about individual points, individual games and doing what I have to do to win those points and those games,” Malinsky said. “In the first few rounds of this, I was never thinking about winning the match.

“Whenever John and I were playing our (semifinal) doubles match (Tuesday) night, we were planning out each point and what we were trying to do,” he said. “I tried to do that today. I just couldn’t execute as well as he could.

Veit and Malinsky went on to claim the men’s doubles title with a 6-3, 6-2 victory against Scott Grubbs and Michael Schoumacher.

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