Sunday, July 18, 2004

Annual favorites will try to extend dominance today


Met tennis

By Alex Blumer
Enquirer contributor

Intriguing subplots abound at today's singles title matches of the Thomas E. Price Cincinnati Metropolitan championships at Lunken Playfield.

On the men's side, top-seeded Jeff Wolf, 38, will try to extend his record for Met singles titles to seven.

Across the net will be Brown University sophomore Eric Thomas, who's trying to join John D. Peckskamp (1971) as the only men to win the Met singles before the age of 20.

[img]
Kara Molony-Hussey is the women's top seed.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
Today's women's final is a rematch of last year's championship, with Tania Luzhanska looking for revenge against top seed Kara Molony-Hussey, a winner in three sets when they played a year ago.

Luzhanska, who was born in the Ukraine but trains at the International Tennis Academy in Florida, defeated Molony-Hussey for the championship in 2001.

"I'm sure it's going to be a good match, because I'm probably going to have to win it - she won't give it away," said the 19-year-old Luzhanska.

Thomas reached the final by pulling out a 7-5, 6-0 victory over No. 4 seed Mike McCarthy.

In the first set, Thomas took a 3-0 lead with a couple of service breaks.

But McCarthy, who will be a freshman at Indiana University, tied the match at 4-all.

McCarthy had a couple of set points at 5-4, but Thomas was able to fend them off.

Thomas then broke the former Indian Hill standout on a double fault to go up 6-5.

"Each set point I was able to come up with some big shots," Thomas said.

"He was putting the ball deep, making me move, and all I could really think about was making him move back, and it ended up being a grindfest from the baseline."

Fresh off winning his 15th Met doubles title, another record, with Dan Kronauge on Friday night, Wolf defeated Matt Dektas 6-2, 6-1 Saturday morning.

"Today I didn't serve particularly well, but I served the big points well," Wolf said. "My concentration comes and goes, but I'm able to pull it back in. I think that's my biggest strength."

Having reached his first Met semifinal, Dektas decided this would be his final singles appearance.

"I'm a teacher, not a player," said the 28-year-old Dektas, a teaching pro at Five Seasons.

Molony-Hussey advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Angela (Farley) Wilson.

Wilson was able to keep Molony-Hussey off balance for much of the match with a steady return game.

"I knew she'd get everything back and wouldn't give me much pace to work with," Molony-Hussey said. "I actually don't get to play my game; I have to go to plan B against someone like that."

Luzhanska defeated Kara's younger sister, Lyndsey, 6-2, 6-1. It was the second consecutive year Molony lost to Luzhanska.

Luzhanska and Molony-Hussey will take the court at noon today at Lunken Playfield.

The Wolf-Thomas match will follow.




BENGALS
As team turns corner, hopes and sales soar
Bengals' new look scores even before season starts
Take a VR tour of a Bengals luxury suite
Desktop wallpaper

REDS
Reds: Dunn's HR saves day
Photos of Saturday's game
LHP Claussen seems to be ripe for callup
Club puts Griffey on gag order
Reds chatter

MORE BASEBALL HEADLINES
500 homers or 300 wins?
Cardinals' Womack brings success
Scott Rolen: Halfway to Cooperstown?
Injuries never far from discussion
Workout encouraging for Chicago's Prior
Devil Rays release 40-year-old McGriff
NL: Maddux's 297th comes on shutout
AL: Tejada goes 3-for-4 as O's defeat Rays
AAA: Louisville 4, Syracuse 2

BASKETBALL
Journey has made Pilgrim stronger
Scouts at college coaches' service
Summer, AAU coaches can make profit
Jones reunited with his biggest critic - Shaq
Clay upsets Pappas to win trials decathlon

TENNIS
Annual favorites will try to extend dominance today

GOLF
Unlikely Yank leads British
Mickelson's under-control style paying off
Tiger back in majors title hunt
James, Pate enter Kroger Classic

OLYMPICS
Expectations for Athens less than Olympian
USADA on lookout for steroids
U.S. track team, hurt by doping, still a powerhouse
2004 Summer Olympics schedule
Olympics guide, multimedia

TOUR DE FRANCE
Armstrong wins stage; Tour title in sight
Tour De France photos, maps, multimedia

TOP OF THE SECOND
Top of the 2nd
What's up with that?
Quick chat with ... Boxing's Chris Webb
Test your sports trivia knowledge

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Sports digest
Sports today on TV, radio

THIS WEEK'S SPORTS POLL
Which is your favorite local annual event?