COSTA MESA — After playing 10 sets of tennis and a super-tiebreaker over a two-day stretch, Annie Radeva finally hit a bit of a wall Friday afternoon at the Costa Mesa Tennis Center.
The Costa Mesa resident split sets in both her girls' 16 singles and doubles championship matches Friday at the Costa Mesa Summer Junior Classic. And, in the doubles match with partner Nicole Yermanos of Encinitas, Radeva found concentrating a bit difficult.
"I don't think I could have done anything better," Radeva said after she and Yermanos, the No. 2 seeds, fell to the top-seeded sister combination of Tracy and Tammy Van of Garden Grove, 5-7, 6-2, 10-6. "I was literally just thinking about how tired I was the whole time. Nicole played a great match; I think I kind of brought it down."
Radeva, who will be a sophomore at Newport Harbor High, was honest about her performance. But she also honestly had plenty of positives to take from her tournament, even if Ana Luisa Perez Lopez of Mexico also beat her in the girls' 16 singles title match, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, earlier Friday.
"I think [Thursday] I played for over five-and-a-half hours," said Radeva, who also had a tennis lesson thrown in for good measure. "It was a lot of tennis. And then today, splitting sets in both matches was kind of tough. But I'm happy overall."
Incoming Corona del Mar High sophomore Chaz Downing did win a title Friday. Downing and his partner, Maxwell Cancilla of Huntington Beach, defeated Newport Coast resident Max Pham and Kenan Torlic of Irvine, 5-7, 6-3, 12-10, in the boys' 16 doubles title match.
For Radeva it was a high-level singles title match against Perez Lopez, who claimed her second straight tournament victory. Perez Lopez, who has an International Tennis Federation ranking, also won last week's "War by the Shore." Her younger sister, Andrea, won the girls' 14 singles title at both tournaments.
But Radeva claimed the only set off Ana Luisa Perez Lopez in both tournaments combined.
"I played with all I have, and she plays really good," Perez Lopez said. "I think this is the best match I've played since I've been here in the USA. I'm happy, because I won."
Radeva battled from a break of serve down in the first set to win it. She saved set points with Perez Lopez serving at 5-4.
The second set was 3-3 when Perez Lopez disagreed with an "out" call by Radeva. The Mexican player called for an umpire, and rallied to win the last three games of the set.
"I think after the first set, I should have been a little bit more confident," Radeva said. "I could have been putting pressure on her. Instead, I decided to do the usual thing I do and pretend it's 0-0. I think that didn't help me today, because I needed the confidence ... I should have kept it going, but I think I did a pretty good job of trying as hard as I can."
Radeva fell behind 3-1 in the third set and couldn't take advantage of two break-point chances with Perez Lopez serving at 4-2. Her serve was then broken to end the match.
"It could have gone either way," Radeva said. "She made a few less mistakes and a few more winners. I'm happy with how it went; I can't really be down on myself. That's all I could do."
She didn't appear down on herself after the doubles final, posing for pictures while executing a high-five with her partner Yermanos.
Downing and Pham engaged in a remarkable boys' 16s doubles final. After they split sets, Downing and Cancilla took a 7-1 lead in the third-set super-tiebreaker (first to 10 points, win by two). But Pham and Torlic, saving two set points in the process, rallied to 11-10.
Downing and Cancilla won the last three points of the match. On their third match point, they took it when a shot on the sideline, called out by Pham, was overruled by the umpire.
"I feel like [wining the title] shows I'm playing pretty well lately," said Downing, who now prepares for a zonal tournament in Utah.