Haskins wins second title in men’s singles
Published 3:49 pm, Sunday, June 10, 2018
EDWARDSVILLE — The Edwardsville Open has earned a reputation as one of the top summer tennis events in the St. Louis area, and this year’s edition was no exception.
The tournament, a USTA-sanctioned event sponsored by The Bank of Edwardsville, offers $1,500 in prize money, and the men’s singles champion earns a berth in the main draw of the Edwardsville Futures pro tournament on Aug. 6-12 at EHS.
This year’s singles champion was Carson Haskins of Ballwin, Mo., who won the title for the second time in three years with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Kristopher Ortega of Homer Glen, Ill.
Haskins, who graduated last month from Parkway South High School, won the Edwardsville Open in 2016.
In his first-round match at the Edwardsville Futures, he lost to eventual champion Tennys Sandgren, who earlier this year reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
Last year, Haskins reached the finals at the Edwardsville Open, losing to Aleksandar Kovacevic.
“It’s kind of cool to see the people that I play and how well they do,” said Haskins, who will play next season at Indiana University. “I’m pretty excited about getting back in the Futures tournament and hopefully I get a good draw.
“My goal is to at least get an ATP point (for winning a match) and then go from there. I want to see how well I can do in that tournament.”
Ortega, who was Haskins’ partner for men’s open doubles, recently completed his freshman season at Northern Illinois University. He was a transfer from the University of Illinois, where he redshirted during the 2016-17.
While the tournament offers strong competition for Division I players, it also offers opportunities for current and former players from EHS.
The older high school players, and those moving on to college or already in college, can compete in men’s or women’s open singles and doubles.
The less experienced players can compete in singles and doubles at the 4.0 level.
“It’s great for all those kids to get a chance in this tournament and it’s good experience for them,” said EHS coach Dave Lipe, who is the tournament director.
Mady Schreiber, a 2018 EHS graduate, took third place in women’s open singles with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Laurie Burke.
Schreiber, who transferred from O’Fallon to Edwardsville for her senior year, will play tennis next season at St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.
“My opponent was very consistent and she moved very well, so I think I learned a lot,” Schreiber said. “This is my first tournament since the (high school) season, so I’m not where I used to be, but it was good to get out and get back into the groove.
“I’m trying to get out and hit all the time and find more tournaments to play in. Hopefully by the end of summer, I’ll he ready for college.”
Chloe Trimpe, who will be a sophomore at EHS, lost 6-0, 6-0 to top-seeded Tamara Klimek of St. Louis in the women’s open singles final.
Klimek, who is from Serbia, recently became the first NAIA All-American for the women’s tennis program at Missouri Baptist University.
Emma Herman, who will also be a sophomore at Edwardsville, lost 6-0, 6-3 to Princess Imouhkuede of Champaign in the women’s 4.0 singles championship.
The tournament was interrupted by rain on Saturday, forcing some matches to be moved to the Edwardsville Meyer Center YMCA or to be pushed back to Sunday.
“I feel like we get rain for this tournament every year, but I’m grateful to the Edwardsville YMCA for allowing us to play a few matches indoors in the early afternoon before we were able to transition back outside,” Lipe said.
While the tournament provided some positive results for the younger players, the older players provided some highlights as well.
Jimmy Hendricks, a 1998 EHS graduate, won the men’s 4.0 single championship with a a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Bill Blythe of Vandalia.
Hendricks didn’t play tennis in high school and didn’t start playing until he was 27 and living in San Diego.
“I worked for the USTA out in San Diego and just moved back here six weeks ago,” said Hendricks, who played in the tournament two years ago. “I wanted to support Dave (Lipe) and I’m happy to win here locally.”