|Kevin Kylar reclaims the Manitoba Open Men’s Singles
By Geoff Kirbyson
Nothing will ever top the drama of Kevin Kylar’s first Manitoba Open singles title but it will be difficult to find a more significant win than his second.
Two years ago, the then-16-year-old did something no Manitoban had done in nearly a decade-and-a-half, defeating longtime No. 1, Doug Devriendt, in an epic three-set battle.
But Saturday at the Kildonan Tennis Club, the top seed’s 6-1, 6-3 win over No. 4 Sean LaCap gave him bragging rights in his house.
“My dad only won one,” he said, referring to George Kylar’s sole Manitoba Open singles victory in 1982.
(George Kylar, who is also Kevin’s coach, has several Manitoba Open doubles titles, too.)
The younger Kylar knew he had to play a little bit bigger than he had to this point in the tournament because he didn’t want to grind with LaCap, who had won three tough matches to get to the final, including coming back from 5-1 down and two match points in the third set against Saul Shrom in the quarter-finals.
“He hits so much topspin and slice, it’s kind of uncomfortable. He hits a lot of loopy balls and it’s easy to make mistakes off them. I figured if I could hit a good serve, get a short ball, hit a good approach and put it away, that was better than hanging around the baseline,” he said.
There’s little time to bask in the glory for Kylar, however, as he has a wildcard spot in the Manshield Tennis Futures, a $15,000 International Tennis Federation pro circuit men’s tournament next week at the Sargent Park Tennis Garden.
“It’s going to be a little tougher but I played a tournament in Calgary last week and qualified for the main draw and had a couple of tough matches. That will help get me ready for (Manshield),” he said.
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