FAIRBORN — The Fairborn Tennis League, sponsored by the City of Fairborn Parks and Recreation, provides recreational tennis leagues in singles and doubles play for area tennis enthusiasts. The Tennis League, consisting of advanced, lower advanced, intermediate, and novice divisions, is bigger and better than ever with over 80 participants. The players come from all over the Dayton area, with most from Fairborn and Beavercreek. Matches are played at Community Park, Wedgewood Park, and the novice league is playing at Rona Hills Park.
Play consists of two-set matches, with the winner of each set getting a point for the set won. Singles are played on Monday nights and doubles on Wednesday nights. At the end of the eight-week season, the top players play in a mini playoff tournament to determine the championship in their respective leagues. Play is now at the halfway point with no matches this week due to the Fourth of July holiday.
In the Novice Singles League, Laina Livingston of Fairborn has four wins, with a recent win over Mary Stepp 6-0, 6-0. Fairborn’s Paige Murray also has four wins, beating Livingston 6-2, 6-2. Also with four wins are Scott Crum and Regina Long.
Long, the mother of former Fairborn player Jon Long, enjoyed the game so well watching her son that she took up the game and is now playing well as a beginner.
In the more advanced Division A Singles League, there are two groups of eight players. Former No. 1 Fairborn player and current Heidelberg University team member Jon Long split his last match with former top Beavercreek player, Matt Almazan winning the first set 6-4, with Almazan making a strong comeback to win the second set, 6-1. Wright State player Jason Holloway won over Centerville High School district qualifier Jaewoo Choi, 6-1, 6-1. Five-time champion Rodolfo Burguera is off to another outstanding season being undefeated so far with key wins over former WSU player Pete Wallace and T.C. Chu of Beavercreek.
In the Division B Singles League, there are also two groups of eight. Last year’s champion, Thusitha Guunasekera of Beavercreek, has started off strong going undefeated at 8-0. It takes awhile to get adjusted to his hard-charging style, but Guunasekera has had two tough matches. After winning 6-0 first sets over Eli Coulton, a young newcomer from Centerville, and former Fairborn tennis coach Terry Miller, both came back with strong second sets in 6-4 losses. In the other group, Dave Livingston of Fairborn is off to a quick start going undefeated at 6-0, with recent wins over Jimmy Johnson 6-1, 6-0 and Kim Myers 6-2, 6-0.
The Doubles League consists of an advanced A Division, and a B Division. The top four teams in each division will play in a championship playoff tournament. In Division A, two college players, Jason Holloway and his partner, Cedarville University’s Rosie Thompson, have a winning record of 6-2. The pair have split their last two matches, however, with the team of Jesse Holloway (Jason’s brother) and Steve Thompson (Rosie’s father). The team of former Air Force Academy player Shannon Young and Beavercreek HS player Alex Riess are 7-1, getting their only loss at the hands of the Jason Holloway-Rosie Thompson duo. Also starting strong is the undefeated team of David Minch/Eric Lipowicz from Beavercreek at 8-0, who have beaten James White/Wes Biles 6-2, 6-2 and the Beavercreek HS doubles team of Curtis Guthrie/Vinodh Enukonda 6-2, 6-1 in recent matches.
In Division B Doubles play, the husband-wife team of Jack and Linda Bednar have a 6-2 record, but have split their last two matches. They have lost their first sets, but then Linda, a former Springfield Northwestern HS coach, analyzes the set and they change their strategy to pull out the second sets. With the Fairborn team of Terry Miller-Keith Taylor winning 6-4 in the first, the Bednars came back to win 6-0. The father-son team of Steve Neff, Sr. and Jr. did the same, losing the first set 7-5 and coming back to take the second 7-5. Both losing teams have strong records with four wins. Last year’s champions, Pete Wallace and Laura Friend, have four wins also. The Wallace-Friend pair won a good rematch of last year’s final over the team of Jennifer Beard-Jenny Klump, 6-3, 6-3.
Play will resume next week on Monday July 10 in singles and Wednesday July 12 in doubles. The public is invited to come out to watch the matches.
Story by Terry Miller of the Fairborn Tennis League.