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Unseeded Bektas captures Coleman crown

A year ago, Emina Bektas came to the Coleman Vision Tennis Championships “on a whim.”

“I was at a tournament in Texas and I was trying to figure out what was next. I contacted Albuquerque where I hadn’t played before. They gave me a wild card. I  won a couple of rounds in the qualies and I had a good time.”

On Sunday at Tanoan Country Club, Bektas had an especially good time. Unseeded, she knocked off the veteran Maria Sanchez, 6-4, 6-2, to win the singles title. Sanchez had a wild card to play in the main draw.

The victory let Bektas pick up $12,161.  Sanchez earned $6,487.

Bektas rolled in the first set until the hard-hitting Sanchez put on a late charge. At 5-4 Sanchez hit a loose forehand and Bektas let out a shout of happiness.

“She loves to come in and she was putting me on the defensive a lot,” Bektas said later. “I got tight and I tried to play within myself.” On the final point in the second set, Sanchez batted a forehand into the net.  Bektas broke into a joyous smile.

“I really like that this was an All-American final,” she said.

As she had done all week, Bektas shook hands with every lines person.

On Sunday morning, a doubles match between Tara Moore of Great Britain and Conny Perrin of Switzerland versus Ulrikke Eiker of Norway and Belgium’s An-Sophie Mestach continued.

The match had  started Saturday afternoon but had been stopped by rain and lightning  The first set had been won by Moore and Perrin on Saturday, 6-3. A second set ended at 6-all Saturday.  The four had begun a set tiebreak when play was stopped at 1-all.

On Sunday, the two teams went at it again, picking up on Saturday’s tiebreak. Eikeri and Mestach won the tiebreak 7-6 (3). Then, because they had split sets,  the four had to do have match tiebreak. Moore and Perrin took care of that winning  10-7. To recap: There were back-to-back tiebreaks.  A set tiebreak. And a match tiebreak.

On Sunday, Moore and Perrin continued their winning ways by getting past Viktorija Golubic and Amra Sadikovic, the  tournament’s No. 1 seed, 6-3, 6-3.

Moore and Perrin had been the subject of many conversations the last couple of days.  On Friday, the New York Times carried a feature article titled “Engaged Tennis Players Prefer to Be on the Same side of the Net.”  Moore and Perrin became among the first active players in the WTA to be engaged to one another.  Moore proposed last September and the two plan to marry next year in Thailand.

Perrin said Sunday that their families have been happy for them. “They took it well, I don’t know why this would bother some people. It’s the same as a man and a woman. Love is love.”

In tennis and in life.

TOURNAMENT NOTES:  Doug MacCurdy, a former UNM tennis player, and longtime general manager of the International Tennis Federation and later director of player development for the USTA, was honored Sunday for the Distinguished Tennis Service Award.

. . . Dr. Stephen Coleman, founder of the tournament and its title sponsor, missed a couple of days last week after he accidentally fell during a bicycle ride and dislocated one shoulder. He is fine now.

. . . The Coleman Vision reportedly is in the running to be a $100,000 tournament next year.