Anne Hughes enjoys full helping of tennis at McDonald’s Junior

Anne Hughes returns a shot Sunday to Meredith Soychak in the girls 18 singles championship match during the McDonald’s Junior Tennis Tournament at Elliott Tennis Center. Hughes won the 16 singles championship before losing the girls 18 match to Soychak 6-2, 7-5.

Anne Hughes knew she was in for a full day of tennis.

Sunday at the final day of the McDonald’s Junior Tennis Tournament, Hughes won the 16-and-under singles final 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, but lost the 18-and-under singles final to Meredith Soychak 6-2, 7-5.

“I knew it would be a tough day,” Hughes said. “But I always grow a ton in tournaments, so I was hoping to play a bunch of matches.”

Hughes defeated Bronte Hayward in the 16 singles final earlier on Sunday before falling to Soychak.

Hughes was the only girl to play in both the 16 and 18 singles brackets.

“It was fun playing up,” Hughes said. “It really helps you improve and that’s what I was going for in this tournament.

The 15-year-old Hughes played No. 4 doubles for Grand Junction High School this past school year, and hopes to jump into a singles position for the upcoming season.

“Singles strategy is being really patient and waiting for the other person to make a mistake, unless you see an opening and can go for it,” Hughes said. “I was very happy with how it turned out.”

Hughes won the 14-and-under singles the past two years. The 18 singles win was the first time Soychak has won a division during her three years in the tournament. Only 16, Soychak bumped into the 18 bracket and survived a three-set match on Saturday to make the finals. After winning the first set at 6-2, Soychak came back from a 5-4 deficit against Hughes to win the second set 7-5.

“Our points lasted a long time,” Soychak said. “We went to deuce many times, but you have to be patient to put the point away.”

Although Soychak won her first singles title on Sunday, the boys 18-and-under winner made it two in row. Luke Ledebur defeated Jesi Nordstrom 6-1, 6-1. Ledebur has actually won four McDonald’s singles titles in a row, winning the 14 title and 16 title before taking the 18 title the past two years.

“I went in giving it my all because I was trying to get four in a row,” Ledebur said. “I had to play consistent and make them earn it.”

Ledebur said he plans to go for five in row next year.

Other results from Sunday included Greg Gibson winning the 14 singles bracket with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Ridge Droskin.

Sarah Fleming defeated Julianna Campos 6-1, 6-2 in the junior mixed finals.

Alex Proietti and Kylie Pond defeated Nicky and Jillian Arja in the girls 18 doubles 6-1, 6-2.

Parker and Tate Hegstrom defeated Ledebur and Jeff Hansen 6-4, 6-4 in the boys 18 doubles.


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