Hundreds of people filled the stands at Hempfield Area Recreation Commission in Landisville, Pa. on Sunday to watch the final matches of the Koser Jewelers Tennis Challenge.
A USTA Pro Circuit event, the tournament is always a popular one among tennis fans in central Pennsylvania.
For nearly a decade, Hempfield Rec and Koser Jewelers have provided high-level pro tennis to the local community. This was the second straight year that facility hosted a $25,000 tournament, bringing together high-level players from all over the world. With many spectators being forced to take a standing position along the fence, the atmosphere was a tennis player’s dream.
“This was the best competition in the eight years of the event, and also had the biggest crowds,” said tournament director, Wilson Pipkin. “I was very pleased that local player Alexandra Mueller (Abington, Pa.), the 2010 singles champion and this year’s main draw wild card, made it to the semifinals in singles and finals in doubles.”
The finals started with women’s doubles, which featured an all-American line-up. Lena Litvak and Mueller matched up against Jamie Loeb and Sanaz Marand. Both doubles teams were coming off dramatic third set tiebreak wins in the semifinals.
Loeb and Marand started the second set with a 1-0 lead after an hour-long first set that saw both teams battling in a tiebreak. Loeb/Marand went on to take the second set and the championship.
The second match of the day was the singles final between Poland’s Paula Kania and Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, which proved to be well worth the wait. After dropping the first set, Kania was able to take the second and third to beat Jabeur 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
The Koser Jewelers Tennis Challenge is the only women’s Pro Circuit event in Pennsylvania.
“I love running the event for the USTA Pro Circuit,” Pipkin said. “But even more than that, I love how the community has embraced the event.”