Sunday, July 4, 2004

Familiar names top Met tennis seeds

By Shannon Russell
Enquirer staff writer

A pair of familiar faces earned top singles seeds in the 61st annual Thomas E. Price Cincinnati Metropolitan Tennis Tournament at Lunken Playfield, which begins Tuesday and ends July 18. In Saturday's draw, tournament officials selected Jeff Wolf, the record six-time Met singles champion, and Kara Molony-Hussey, a four-time singles winner, as the players to beat.

Tournament director Karen Montavon said Wolf's return to singles was a surprise. Wolf, owner of a Met-record 14 doubles titles, has won the last five with Dan Kronauge.

Wolf, 38, last competed in Met men's singles in 2001. He signed up for doubles with Kronauge this year, then added singles on a whim. The Loveland man is expecting tough competition from the 99-man field, rich in college players.

"I'm going in in 'weekend warrior' shape, having only played on the weekends. But I understand the game. That's what's enticing, my experience," Wolf said. "I'm curious to see how far that experience will take me."

Brown University sophomore and Walnut Hills grad Eric Thomas is the second seed. Indian Hill grad Ryan McCarthy is third, followed by his brother, Michael, in fourth.

Cedric Kauffmann, last year's men's champion, will be playing doubles only, with Brian Nester.

On the women's side, Molony-Hussey was a lock as defending champion. She defeated Tania Luzhanska 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 for last year's title, which was a rematch from the 2001 finals, which Luzhanska won.

Luzhanska returns as the second seed, followed by third-seeded Lyndsey Molony and fourth-seeded Angela (Farley) Wilson.

Only 17 women registered for women's singles, a slight drop in recent years, Montavon said.

But the payoff for the winner is sweeter than ever. The Met women's winner is invited to a Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open qualifier. The new event will be held in Mason on Aug. 14.

If you go

The 61st annual Thomas E. Price Cincinnati Metropolitan Tennis Tournament will be held at Lunken Playfield, July 6-18.

The tournament features men's singles, men's doubles, women's singles and women's doubles competition among players 15 and older from the Greater Cincinnati area.

The singles field is closed. Doubles entries will be accepted until Tuesday. Cost is $30. Call 321-1772.

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