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SOUTHERN SECTION TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS : After Exhausting Semifinal, Elliott Loses Title Match

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Southern Section girls’ tennis singles championship Friday was somewhat anticlimactic for Nicole Elliott of Dana Hills.

After winning a 2-hour 40-minute semifinal against Ania Blezynski of Marlborough, Elliott lost to San Marino’s Nicole Hummel, 6-0, 6-2, in the final at Lindborg Racquet Club. “Today, I felt better than I did last year,” said Elliott, a senior who last year reached the Round of 16 before losing to Blezynski. “It was kind of important to get there (in the championship). I was happy to be there, but I was just trying to play my game and not do a lot of running.”

In the final, Elliott fell behind early in the first set, winning one point in the first game, and none in the second. In the third game, Elliott made fewer mistakes, but Hummel, a two-time runner-up in singles, made several passing shots.

“She just came out flat,” Dana Hills Coach John Stephens said of Elliott. “It was a combination of Nicole Hummel playing real well and Nicole Elliott being tired. Elliott never got herself into this match and when she started relaxing a little, she was already down, 0-4.”

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Hummel, who reached the French Open junior quarterfinals and played juniors at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1991, finally won the championship she has wanted since her freshman year. Dana Hills’ Anne Mall, now playing at UCLA, defeated Hummel last season in the final.

“It’s always nice to win,” Hummel said. “I’ve been to the finals three times and yes, I finally won.”

In the semifinal, Elliott defeated Blezynski, 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-3, in a match in which Elliott broke back seven times.

“We felt she could beat Ania (Blezynski) today,” Stephens said. “It was a great match especially because Ania won the national 16-and-under indoor singles last week.”

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The doubles final was an all-Palos Verdes Peninsula affair: Stephanie Landsdorp and Summer Redondo won.


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