After friend Don Seibel had made the trek to Las Vegas on numerous occasions, Mary Lynn Weber thought it was only right that she return the favour.
Weber, from Las Vegas, teamed up with Seibel during the Play Tennis 3.0/4.0/5.0 provincials at the Red Deer Tennis Club during the weekend and nearly took top honours in the 4.0 mixed doubles.
Seibel, of Red Deer, and Weber came out on the short end of a 5-7, 6-4, 10-3 score in Sunday’s championship final versus the Calgary duo of Will Hotomanie and Dawn Redmond.
“Don comes to Vegas a lot and we’ve played in some tournaments down there,” said Weber.
Added Seibel: “We’ve played numerous tournaments there and actually made it to sectionals one year. We’re good friends and she thought she’d come up and try a tournament here in Canada. It was tough, but we’re pretty proud of ourselves.
“It’s always good to make it to a final, but you don’t always get to win.”
Seibel and Weber, seeded second in the 4.0 mixed doubles, won the first game of the final before dropping the second game and then losing the third-set tie-breaker to the top-seeded Hotomanie and Redmond.
“We were seeded second and there’s no shame in losing in a third-set tie-breaker,” said Seibel. “We were right there. We were three all (in the tie-breaker) and we lost our serve. They held their serve and it was pretty much lights out.”
Weber was impressed with the Calgary team.
“Making it to a tie-breaker is pretty good,” she said. “We just didn’t have the third gear that guy (Hotomanie) had. He had a good last gear. He was ripping it.”
Weber and Seibel ran off three victories prior to the final, posting respective 6-4, 6-3; 6-2, 6-4; and 6-1, 6-2 wins over Herb and Anonn Wiebe, Zachary Macdonald and Jill Groves, and Jeff Lewis and Michelle Lee, all of Edmonton.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Tereza Simonova of the host club captured the 4.0 women’s singles title with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Katie Johnson.
“That was probably my toughest match of the weekend,” said Simonova, the daughter of Red Deer Tennis Club head pro Rene Simon. “I had never played her (Johnson) before. I didn’t know anything about her.”
The 13-year-old Simonova, who won the provincial under-14 girls title two months ago in Edmonton, opened the Play Tennis provincials with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Redmond, then reached the final with successive 6-2, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-1 defeats of Michelle Rodriguez of Airdrie and Kerry Macpherson of Calgary.
Simonova also played with Tyler Begg of Red Deer in the 5.0 mixed doubles.
Evan Hardy of Red Deer and Kyle Runzer of Edmonton teamed up to claim top honours in the 4.0 men’s doubles, knocking off the top-seeded Edmonton pair of Bradley and Dan Townsend 6-1, 6-1 in the final.
Earlier, Hardy and Runzer defeated Douglas Begg and Kamil Krulis of Calgary 6-2, 6-1, downed Vincent Leong and Mark Ward of Edmonton 6-1, 6-0 and advanced to the final by beating Victor Dias and Rob Gravells of Red Deer 6-1, 6-4.
Simon was runner-up in the men’s 5.0 singles, losing 6-3, 6-4 to fourth-seeded Francis Del Rosario of Calgary in the final.
The Red Deer tennis instructor, seeded second, opened with a 6-4, 1-1 (retire) win over Alvin Caro of Calgary, then beat Matthew Ormandy of Edmonton 6-4, 6-2 and knocked off sixth-seeded Herman Chaves Posse 6-2, 6-0.
Simon and Begg had to settle for third place in the men’s 5.0 doubles. The pair downed Hyancinthe Fallu and Jeff Lewis of Edmonton 3-6, 6-3, 10-4, defeated Stuart Perkins and Tobias Strozyk of Calgary 6-1, 6-0 and fell 6-3, 6-0 to the top-seeded Edmonton pair of Carson Bell and Jordan Sluchinksi.
“It was a good weekend for Red Deer players. I’m very happy,” said Simon. “I played well, but I’m at age 43 and everybody is 20 years younger.”
Simon will compete in the 40-and-over nationals in Vancouver in two weeks.