Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tennis kids claim Teton Pines titles

Express Staff Writer

The Wood River Valley was well represented by four local boys at the Teton Pines Junior Indoor Tournament, Nov. 9-11, in Wilson, Wyo.

The tournament is part of the year-round Intermountain Tennis League, which stages events at various western outposts, including Idaho Falls, Boise, Jackson Hole and Salt Lake City.

Open classes for girls and boys had competition at the 12-, 14-, 16- and 18-year-old level. "There were probably about 70 kids there," parent/coach Mats Wilander said.

Karl Wilander, an eighth grader at The Community School, swatted his way to first place in 14-year-old boys' doubles class and added a second place in boys' singles.

Wilander and partner Brody Wright of Idaho Falls won doubles 6-1, 6-3 over fellow Cutthroat Charlie Grabow of Sun Valley and Taylor Neville of Idaho Falls. In boys' singles, Wilander was 2-1 and Grabow 0-1 in single elimination play.

Community School student/athletes Erik Wilander and Willis Sanchez-Dupont defeated a Laramie, Wyo. duo in straight sets to claim the 12-year-old boys' doubles title.

The elder Wilander, a member of the Tennis Hall of Fame, said tennis is a growing in popularity in Idaho for many reasons, including convenience for families.

He said, "Tennis is huge in Idaho Falls, especially in families with a lot of kids.

"It's great because you can have three kids of different ages and they can all do the same sport and play in the same tournament. We have four kids and one is playing soccer, one is skiing, one is playing hockey, one is playing tennis ... they are always off in different places. We should have more people play tennis. It's a great sport."

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