The Fayette Citizen-Sports Page
Wednesday, July 28, 1999
Great tennis player in great tourney

Sports Editor

Sunday was an incredibly fitting championship day at the Challenger of Peachtree, as both the singles and doubles, and the Mike Patton Auto Mall One Point High School Tournament all crowned their champions.

The singles match was between second seeded Erika De Lone of Lincoln, Mass. and Alina Jidkova from Russia. The first four games of the first set all went to deuce, three of those four resulting in a De Lone win. Jidkova would make some outstanding shots and De Lone would remain patient and catch up. After De Lone took a 4-2 lead in the first set, Jidkova won the next three games in a row to take a lead. The battle continued with each player playing outstanding tennis and refusing to back down. De Lone won the first set 7-6 (1).

The second set went much the same way. Just when you thought that momentum had sided with one player, the other would rise up and defeat her opponent in the very next game. Jidkova took control of the second set toward the end and won 7-6 (0). The players then asked for a 10-minute break due to the heat and the one point tournament was played during the break. The winner of the extremely fast-paced tournament was Nicole Timmis of McIntosh. She won a free pair of Adidas shoes and also got her high school team a free entrance into the tournament.

The third and final set between Jidkova and De Lone was intense. Both girls played outstandingly and the momentum continued to shift between them. Jidkova took it over once and for all, calling out, “Come on1” after particularly nice shots for points. Later, she would say the only reason she did it was to keep herself awake in the heat. Jidkova won the final set 6-4.

In the tournament she defeated the first and second seed. She was extremely deserving of the championship and she prevented the fifth title in a row for De Lone. The entire singles final took nearly three hours to play.

The doubles final between the teams of Rika Hiraki and Nana Miyagi and Annabel Ellwood and Bryanne Stewart did not last as long. Both teams played well in the first set, but it was power shots from the top seeded Hiraki/Miyagi that got the crowd's cheers. Elwood and Stewart, the second seeded doubles team, had their share of good plays early on, but as the day wore on it seemed as though Hiraki/Miyagi knew in advance where and how to hit the ball. Hiraki/Miyagi won the first set 6-4. The second set was controlled by Hiraki/Miyagi even more, as they won 6-1.

All in all, it was a fantastic tennis tournament. The Challenger raised the most money it ever has for the David Harris Foundation, raising $3,500 from ticket sales alone.

The crowd Sunday was the largest in the five-year history of the tournament as well. There were no major injuries or incidents during the week, despite the increasingly high heat index throughout the week, and only two matches had to be rescheduled due to weather.

Sunday was an enjoyable day for fans, players and officials and many of them already look forward to next year's tournament.

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