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OJAI VALLEY TENNIS TOURNAMENT

Stewart Wins the Boys' Title

April 28, 2002|LAUREN PETERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"Nobody's going to touch Stewart," one coach said.

"He's just so hot," said one opponent.

"You can pencil him in [as champion]," said another coach.

Malibu High senior Doug Stewart has been the talk of boys' tennis all season, and he did nothing to shut up anyone with a commanding 6-2, 6-1 victory over Aaron Yovan of Irvine University in the CIF boys' interscholastic singles championship match of the 102nd Ojai Valley tennis tournament Saturday at Libbey Park.

It was the second consecutive loss in the boys' 18 final for Yovan, who fell last year to Patrick Buchanan in three sets. He also advanced to the boys' 16 final and won the boys' 14 division in previous years at Ojai.

"It's great to be in the final, but I'd like to be winning this stuff. It's like 'Here we go again,' right?" said Yovan, who also had plenty to say about Stewart.

"His groundstrokes are amazing. He just played a perfect match," Yovan said. "Trying to force a third set against him ... it's a tough task."

Stewart, who won the Ojai boys' 16-and-under title last season, hits with depth and power from both sides. He had Yovan pinned deep all match, breaking him in the fourth and sixth games of the first set. The rout was nearly complete once he broke Yovan in the second game of the second set.

"There's so much tradition and history," Stewart, last spring's Southern Section champion, said of Ojai. "I was looking at the trophy and there's so many people on there that I recognize."

Bobby Riggs, Stan Smith, Jack Kramer ... Doug Stewart?

"I like the attention," said Stewart, who accepted a scholarship from Virginia.

*

In other finals:

Woodbridge junior Elizabeth Exon won the girls' 18-and-under division title with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Dana Hills junior Kady Pooler, her doubles partner on the junior tournament circuit.

Santa Margarita sophomore Kaes Van't Hof fell, 6-4, 6-3, to Weil Tennis Academy product Yevgeny Supeko in boys' 16s.... Sesil Karatanchev of Ojai won the girls' 16 title over Saskie Nauenberg of Santa Cruz.... Malibu freshman Leif Sunderland, the son of broadcaster Paul Sunderland, won the boys' 14 title over Pasadena Poly's Alex Krueger-Wyman, 6-1, 6-0.... Anna Tatishvili of Ojai defeated Logan Hansen of Santa Monica, 6-4, 6-4, in girls' 14s.... The top-seeded Corona del Mar doubles team of Cameron Ball and Garrett Snyder defeated Brentwood's Ari Rothenthal and Eric McKean, 6-2, 6-2.

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