Kratzer loses marathon match

COSTA MESA — Ashley Kratzer was involved in quite a contentious match Friday morning at Costa Mesa Tennis Center.

Twice in the first set, the Newport Beach resident went to get a line judge after two of her shots were called out by opponent Erin Freeman of Downey.

As the match went on, tensions again flared. But it was Freeman who prevailed in the girls' 18 singles championship match, 4-6, 7-5 and 14-12 in a super-tiebreaker, at the Costa Mesa Summer Junior Classic.

"I just got too wrapped up in her antics," said Kratzer, who is 14 years old and was the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Freeman is 16.

"I just got frustrated and just lost it," Kratzer said. "All you can do is just work on it, improve the way I handled it."

The last point of the match, in the super-tiebreaker, was a bit symbolic. Freeman's serve down the "T" was called out by Kratzer but overruled by referee Sandra Bowerbank, ending the match.

"I'm not sure," Kratzer said. " I thought maybe it might have been in, but I couldn't see it that well. I should have called it in; I don't know why I called it out."

The match, which lasted for nearly three hours, was always close, and breaks of serve were common in both sets.

In the super-tiebreaker, which is the first to 10, Kratzer saved two match points with Freeman serving at 7-9. Kratzer had two match points of her own, at 10-9 and 11-10, but couldn't finish it off.

She saved another match point at 11-12, when Freeman's forehand was wide. But Kratzer dumped a forehand into the net, then Freeman won the match on the aforementioned ace serve.

Kratzer was still happy with the tournament, which was good preparation for her as she competes this weekend in pre-qualifying for the Southern California Open in Carlsbad.

"I used it mostly for match play, not really for points or anything," Kratzer said. "I lost, which may have been a better thing than winning, because at least I learn something from it and I can improve it better. I'd like to have won, but that's OK. You win some, you lose some."

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