Sunday marked the final day of play for the more than 154 participants who played over 90 matches during the week-long event, which had its beginnings in 1988. In all, 15 championship matches took place Sunday and included Aurora's Hal Estes who won his 11th straight Men's 80 Doubles crown.
"Every match is sweet when you win," said Estes when asked if any of the previous titles compare to the current. Estes teamed up with fellow Aurora resident Bob Ware for the duo's third straight championship in the event. Estes and Ware defeated the Suffield father-son team of Bruce and Rich Ensminger, 7-5, 6-3.
"I had a great partner _ I should know, I've had a few over the years," said Estes.
"He could pick any partner and win," said Ware. "They gave us a good battle and persevered. Their some of the toughest competitors we've matched up with."
Before Estes and Ware got to celebrate another title, the Ensmingers made sure they worked hard for the honor. Bruce's hard first serve, was complimented by Rich's powerful backhand that stretched the match almost two hours.
"They're two very smart players," said Rich.
"They took charge of the match early. All I can say is it's better to lose to really good competition, than to beat yourself," added Bruce.
Estes and Ware will give local players a rest for a couple weeks as they punish some of region's best in the U.S.T.A. Northeast Ohio Senior Championship, held in West Virginia, next month.
Stow's Vilma Smith continued her dominance of the Women's A/Open Singles with her fourth-straight victory. Smith defeated Ravenna's Janet Fosnight who had to retire during the early going of the second set with an injury after Smith posted a 6-1 first-set win.
"Vilma is terrific, she's a real inspiration," said Fosnight, of the woman who also defeated her in the early rounds of last year's PC Open. "I had some more to give, but unfortunately we'll have to wait until next year."
"It's always nice to match up against her. She's a nice person who plays real well and hard," said Smith, who by far had the largest gallery of fans watching her match.
Another pair of repeat champions was found in the Mixed Doubles final where five-time champs Steve and Ellen Baggett, of Kent, defeated Ravenna's Craig Triola and Sarah Blair, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0. The match marked the fifth championship in eight years for the Baggetts who entered this year's tournament after a three-year absence.
"We started out on fire and then got a little tentative and they surprised us in the second set," said Steve.
"It was kind of fun to play again this year. We had some good matches," said Ellen.
Tournament director Kim Uhlik said of this year's event, "I was really pleased with this year's tournament. We had a lot of good matchups throughout the week. It was another good year."
Other championship day highlights included the mother-daughter Combined Women's 35/Recreation/C Singles final in which Twin Lakes' Michelle Martin defeated her daughter Trichelle Henry 6-3, 6-4. Martin/Henry later teamed up in the Women's A Doubles final but were defeated by Kent duo Linda Williams and Ann Bolek 6-3, 6-4.
Ravenna's Gina Iarussi won another title, this year's coming in the Combined Girl's A/B Singles getting past Jenny Hoffman of Kent 6-2, 7-5.
Record-Courier Portage County Open Tennis Tournament
(at Kent Roosevelt High School)
Men's 55 Singles Final
Jim McDonald def. Bill Konnert, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0
Men's A Singles Final
Brian Triola def. Dave Fosnight, 6-1, retired
Men's Combined B/Recreation Singles Final
Nick Niro def. Imraan Bhatti, 6-2, 6-4
Men's 100 Doubles Final
Vasanth Hegde/Norm Sandvoss def. Jim McDonald/Bill Konnert, 6-0, 6-2
Men's A Doubles Final
Brian Triola/Craig Triola def. Matt Kane/Jason Askew, 6-1, 4-6, 6-0
Combined Men's B/Recreation Doubles Final
Bob Smith/Doug Wirt def. Arvind Rajamohan/Monouchehr Salehi, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0
Men's 80 Doubles Final
Hal Estes/Bob Ware def. Bruce Ensminger/Rich Ensminger, 7-5, 6-3
Steve Baggett/Ellen Baggett def. Craig Triola/Sarah Blair, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0
Combined Women's A/Open Singles Final
Vilma Smith def. Janet Fosnight, 6-1, retired
Combined Women's C/Recreation/35 Singles Final
Michelle Martin def. Trichelle Henry, 6-3, 6-4
Women's A Doubles Final
Linda Williams/Ann Bolek def. Michelle Martin/Trichelle Martin, 6-3, 6-4
Combined Women's 100/B Doubles Final
Nancy Carstensen/Carol Fridy def. Gloria Gagola/Anne Durkalski, 6-1, 6-1
Combined Girls' A/B Singles Final
Gina Iarussi def. Jenny Hoffman, 6-2, 7-5
Combined Boys' Youth Doubles Final
Dan Lesher/Chris Lesher def. Jim Ensminger/Ray Barry, 6-2, 6-3