Early Sunday morning, a crowd gathered at Tyler Tennis and Swim Club to watch the final matches of the East Texas Open Adult Major Zone Tennis Tournament.
“Way to go Ryan,” UT Tyler tennis player and former teammate Kyle Singer shouted between serves during the Men’s Open singles which pitted two top competitors against each other.
Palestine’s Ryan Ybarra, ranked sixth in the state of Texas, defeated top-ranked Adrian Valdez, from San Antonio, to take the title after three sets by a score of 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Ybarra, a former UT Tyler and Texas Tech player, said the tournament was challenging but fun at the same time.
“There was a lot of good talent in this tournament. At first I didn’t really think there was but (Saturday) I had two tough matches and today’s was real tough too,” Ybarra said. “I played really well. I haven’t played this good in a long time so it was really refreshing and has given me the motivation to go practice hard. I was just glad I pulled it out. It was definitely a good final match.”
Ybarra said the hardest match of the tournament for him was a bout with Julio Olaya of Arkansas in the quarterfinals on Saturday. It lasted more than three hours with Ybarra coming out on top 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.
“He was really good. He had a big serve. It was a tough match,” Ybarra said. “I barely beat him in the third set.”
Ybarra’s mom, JoLynn Ybarra, said she couldn’t believe he had the legs to play his second match of the day right after the win against Olaya. With another win under his belt, Ybarra said he will continue to train and work toward his goal of turning pro.
“I’m going to head down to Florida to train with my coach Peter Gordon. He used to coach at Hollytree (Country Club),” Ybarra said. “I just got done with college tennis so I can start playing pro tournaments and see how I do. Hopefully I will continue to get better and will see good results.”
Ybarra was not the only one to win titles on the last day of the tournament. Kaitlyn Huskey of Tyler and Kylie Reynaud of Bullard teamed up to take the Women’s Open Doubles title. The Woodlands’ Rachel Reed captured the Women’s Open Singles crown.
In Men’s 30 Singles, top-ranked John Swords of Temple defeated Anna’s Thomas Bartzen who is ranked second in the state.
Whitehouse’s Scott Williams and Joey McGraw were victorious in the NTRP Men’s 3.0 Doubles Final.
For the complete list of tournament results, visit tennislink.utsa.com.