By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. — He might have won the Men’s A Singles title Saturday without playing out the full match, but nobody can say that Jack Hiatt had an otherwise easy path.
Hiatt won the Anderson Tennis Classic championship when defending title holder Alex Poe had to retire in the second set. Hiatt was on top 7-5 and 3-0 when the stoppage occurred.
Poe aggravated a muscle injury in his abdomen during a match in Indianapolis on Friday night.
“I actually hurt it a year ago in this tournament playing against Chris Zellinga,” said Poe.
“It hadn’t bothered me too much since then. But today it hurt the most when I would twist around with my (two-handed) backhand and when I served.”
But he still decided to give it a go in the title match.
“I thought I wouldn’t just hand it to (Hiatt),” said Poe, a Frankton graduate. “Besides, he deserved more than to just win it by a walkover. We both like to hit a lot of balls so I knew it was going to be a long match.”
Hiatt is a late bloomer into the world of tennis.
“I didn’t play it until gym class of my freshman year,” said Hiatt, who played at Hamilton Southeastern. “Once I learned how to really hit the ball, then I started having a real blast playing.”
Now the long and lean-framed Hiatt is anything but a blast to play against.
On his way to the title, Hiatt also dispatched Zellinga, who had won two of the past four Men’s A titles, 6-2, 6-3.
He also got past Matt Tran 2-6, 6-1, 10-5.
When asked about his chances to win the title going in, he said, “I thought I had a shot, but they are all really good players. I knew I would have to play at my best to have a chance at any of them.”
In a Girls Varsity Singles semifinal match Saturday, Frankton’s Alexys Rastetter topped Hannah McKissick 6-1, 6-2 to set up a title match against Emma McCardwell today at 1 p.m. McKissick won the Women’s A Singles title earlier in this tournament, but Rastetter lost in the first round in that division.
The tournament ends its nine-day run today as champions are crowned in several divisions. Matches begin at noon with the final matches slated to begin at 6:15 p.m.