Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by John Tonin

LOOKING FOR THE CORNER –Tennis player Ewan Halliday returns Ken Anola’s serveduring the Men’s A singles final of the Yukon Championships held on Friday at the Mount McIntyre tennis courts.

Yukon tennis champions are decided

The sun shone brightly and heated up the Mount McIntyre tennis courts on Friday evening for the Yukon Championships.

By John Tonin on August 12, 2019

The sun shone brightly and heated up the Mount McIntyre tennis courts on Friday evening for the Yukon Championships.

The Men’s A final saw a thrilling match between Ewan Halliday, a regular threat at the Yukon Championship, face off against Ken Anola, a newcomer to the Yukon.

Stacey Lewis said the Men’s A singles are always a tight competition and that three of the four semifinalists are always near the top of the standings.

It was the first time the two finalists had played and it was Halliday securing a 6-4, 6-2 win over Anola.

“He’s had some great results early in the tournament,” said Halliday about his opponent. “To be honest I was pretty nervous and I didn’t know what to expect.”

The first set of the best of three match saw the two players exchange points early on. Anola used his speed and shot-making ability to move Halliday around the court but Halliday was relentless in covering the court. No ball got past him.

The points were won when the other made a mistake.

Halliday said throughout, Anola gave him everything he could handle.

“I don’t know if I could have gone another ten minutes,” said Halliday. “It was a tough game. He was moving me around a lot. His shots were good.”

Halliday said he relies on defence and covering the court.

“I’m not a very big player, I’m not very tall,” said Halliday. “I can’t play a super attacking game against a lot of players. It means I have to play pretty defensively for long stretches of the game. I kept balls in and got them deep.”

In the second game of the match, Halliday began to settle in and the errors he was making earlier disappeared as he put on a dominant performance on his way to being crowned the Yukon champion.

Halliday said he tries to model his game after certain tennis stars and he attempts to replicate their demeanour.

“When I watch tennis on T.V. I always watch people like Rodger Federer who are so calm,” said Halliday. “They will be playing for five hours in front of 10,000 people and you couldn’t tell. It’s like a Sunday afternoon to them.

“When I started playing that’s what I tried to do to. I tried to emulate some of that calmness and the serenity on the court. It allows you to focus a lot better.”

It was in the second game where Halliday became more locked in.

“I would say so,” said Halliday. “The start of the game is always when you have the nerves and you’re not very settled.

By the second set you’ve been playing for an hour so I was focused and I sort of got my feet under me.”

Halliday said he was nervous before the game to play Anola but after a few points, he realized he could hang with him.

“The first game I was serving and he broke that game at love and I was thinking ‘uh oh, I might be out of here in half an hour,’” said Halliday. “But like I said you are nervy and it takes a while to get your feet under you.”

He said it is a good feeling being the Yukon champion and that he looks forward to defending and playing in many tournaments to come.

Other champions from the Friday action.

Geoff Abbott defeated Muhammad Idress in the Men’s B singles final. Halliday added another title to his name when he partnered with Matthias Hoenisch to win the Men’s A Doubles over the duo of Ken Liao and Shaid Syed.

Liam Finnegan and Gurmaan Rai were the Men’s B Doubles champions overtaking Shinya Jomura and John Tran.

Laurie and Rachel Drummond were the Ladies Doubles winners and Mixed Doubles was won by Aline Halliday and Hoenisch.

Twenty-three adults participated in this year’s Yukon Championships. The juniors, U10, and U12 players will be on the court today to determine the junior champions.

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