The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

July 26, 2013

Martinez successful in return

ENID, Okla. — Enid’s Daniel Martinez was pleased in his return to the tennis courts after an eight month-plus injury layoff at the Integris Bass Baptist Health Center Junior Open 2 at Oakwood Country Club.

Martinez showed some rust, but came up with the big shots at the right time in beating EHS teammates Drew Callant 6-0, 6-1 and Zach Gwin, 6-4, 6-3 in winning the Boys 18-Under round robin.

“It feels good,’’ Martinez said. “It was fun. I didn’t feel as much pressure coming back now. I just have to prove myself.’’

Martinez used the tournament as rehab for the hip flex injury that had sidelined him. Doctors have told him not to return to tournament tennis until Aug. 7, which will force him to miss next week’s sectionals.

“This was the first time I’ve played two sets since I’ve been back, so it was a little rough,’’ Martinez said. “Zach played well. His serve has gotten better.’’

Martinez was down 3-2 in the first set after Gwin got a break at 2-2. He won four of the last five games, including coming back from triple game point at 5-4.

“I just played a lot more consistent,’’ Martinez said. “I wasn’t going for as many big shots.’’

Martinez won the last three games of the second set, breaking Gwin at 4-3.

“I played well at times and not so well at times,’’ Martinez said. “I thought my serve was really good. Once I started trusting my hips more, I started to play better. It’s like any other injury, you need time to overcome it.’’

Gwin, who played No. 1 singles for EHS in Martinez’s place, was encouraged by his competitiveness with Martinez.

“I feel great, I made Daniel Martinez work,’’ Gwin said. “I think playing at No. 1 this year made me a better player and it will help me next year at No.2 . I’m very happy to have him back. Trying to hold his weight (at high school) is something I can’t do. He’s the pinnacle.

“But I had my moments today. My serve felt amazing. His serve felt better. I got to work on my returns.’’

Gwin beat Callant, 6-1, 6-0 in the other match.

Enid’s Gabrielle Dick, moving up an age group, won the Girls 18 title by defeating Logyn Williams of Piedmont, 6-2, 6-0 and No. 1 seed Lindsay Terry of Tulsa, 6-1, 6-4.

Enid’s Savannah Blasi, also moving up an age group, won the Girls 16s round-robin with wins over EHS teammate Mia Goulart, 6-0, 6-1 and Regan Gillespie of Edmond, 6-0, 6-2.

“I was pleased with my serves,’’ Blasi said. “They’re looking better. That’s been the main priority in my game. I haven’t played as much as I usually do (in the summer), but I feel like I’m doing well.’’

Goulart beat Gillespie 6-4, 6-2 for second.

Dick and Terry won the Girls 18 doubles round-robin beating Woodward’s Olivia Bucher and Breann Inman, 8-0 and Enid’s Goulart and Abby Gwin, 8-1.

The other divisions (Boys 10s, 12s, 16s and Girls 12s and 14s) will begin play today at Oakwood and Crosslin Park.

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