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State Games tennis serves up strong field for youth, adult events

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
June 26, 2003
Junior tennis players will be making their way to the courts in droves at the Northeast Park Tennis Complex this weekend for the State Games of Mississippi.
Last year, the youth competition drew 96 players to the hardcourts, and commissioner Wanda McPhail said she expects a draw very near the 2002 games to compete for the gold, silver and bronze medals.
Young players will not be the only netters on the courts on Friday through Sunday.
Adults will also be competing for state bragging rights over the weekend.
Though the draw for the adults is not as large as the younger players, the intensity on the court will be high for both age groups.
McPhail said the tennis portion of the games is a friendly competition, but the goal is to walk off the courts with more W's than L's.
Part of the reason for the extra effort to notch victories on the courts is that the state tournament is a USTA sanctioned event.
This means competitors can gain points for their rankings, and all of the adults have to be USTA rated players.
Because of the chance for players to improve their rankings, McPhail said the State Games' event has drawn more interest and produced high quality play on the courts.
The only change McPhail is hoping for this year for the matches, that are played under the USTA rules, is nicer weather.
The weather didn't cooperate with the tennis competition last year. The tourney's final day was hampered by mother nature, until rain finally forced the cancellation of the finale.
The first round for the youths and adults begins at 1 p.m. Friday.