Former University of Washington men's tennis standout Kyle McMorrow cruised through the competition at the Lithia Toyota Open Championships inside Rogue Valley Swim and Tennis Club.
McMorrow, who was competing in the tournament for his first time, advanced through the 24-player bracket without giving up a set in four matches and brought down defending champion George Jecminek of Canada, 7-5, 6-1, in the final round on Sunday.
"I was a little nervous after the opening set," said the 22-year-old McMorrow, who was seeded No. 2 going into the tournament. "I was pretty passive today ... typically, I play a little bit more aggressive. I wish I had been more assertive, but I was waiting for him to miss a little or make a big mistake."
Last year, when the tournament was called the Rogue Valley Open Championships, Jecminek won the singles and doubles crown, but the Czech Republic native couldn't edge a determined McMorrow in the 17th running of the tournament.
"Kyle played a very tough match, and things didn't go my way, but that's tennis," said Jecminek, the top seed entering the weekend.
On Saturday, Jecminek's court time was stretched to six sets in two matches, including one tie-breaker, while McMorrow made quick work of his opponents, losing just eight games in a pair of two-set matches.
Jecminek was tired Sunday, he said, and McMorrow noticed. Both players said the unbalanced time on the court Saturday played a role in the championship match.
"I am very happy with the weekend. Everything in my game was clicking really well," McMorrow said. "And I pride myself on my fitness."
McMorrow, who beat fifth-seeded Andy Gerst, 6-1, 6-2, in the semifinals, pocketed $1,500 of the tournament's $5,000 purse.
Jecminek, who downed third-seeded Medford native Nate Schnugg in the semis, made away with $800.
McMorrow wrapped up this past season at Washington ranked 16th in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The senior became the eighth All-American in program history after falling in the round of 16 at the NCAA tournament, capping his final year with a 25-7 record and his career at 100-35 in singles. The ITA Northwest Region Senior of the Year and All-Pac-12 first-teamer became just the fifth Husky to reach 100 wins for his career.
Jecminek, 26, is a touring tennis player ranked 854th currently by the International Tennis Foundation.
Jecminek and McMorrow paired together as the tournament's top-seeded doubles tandem, but were knocked out in the semifinal round by No. 2 seeds Jon Endrikat, an ex-North Medford High and UC Irvine standout, and Curt Wheeler of Salem. Endrikat and Wheeler went on to win the doubles crown Sunday, 6-2, 7-6 (3) against the No. 3-seeded duo of Schnugg and former USC player Jason McNaughton.
Schnugg played on the ATP World Tour after a decorated tennis career at the University of Georgia and recently moved to San Francisco. He was a four-time all-Southeastern Conference selection and helped the Bulldogs to a NCAA championship during his tenure. As a junior doubles tennis player in 2006, he won titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and was second at the Australian Open.
Doubles champions Endrikat and Wheeler pocketed $400 apiece.
All of the proceeds generated by the tournament sponsorships are being donated to the Medford Parks and Recreation Foundation to help fund its summer programs and scholarships, said RVSTC tennis director Frank Inn.
"We really want to thank Lithia Toyota and everyone who made this possible. ... We had a lot of quality players out here this year, the depth of the field was really good, and the stands were full pretty much all weekend," Inn said.
About 75 people attended the singles championship match Sunday.
QUARTERFINALS — Kyle McMorrow d. Jonathan Endrikat, 6-3, 6-2; Andy Gerst d. Michel Hukwo, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4; Nathaniel Schnugg d. Reid Delaubenfels, 6-2, 7-5; George Jecminek d. Charlie Cutler, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.
ROUND OF 16 — Kyle McMorrow d. Kent Andreasen, 6-1, 6-2; Jonathan Endrikat d. Alejandro Garcia Ferrero, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4; Michel Hukwo d. Jason McNaughton, 6-1, 6-3; Andy Gerst d. Tim Layman, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3; Reid Delaubenfels d. Trevor Dobson 6-1, 7-6 (3); Nathaniel Schnugg d. Brent Wheeler, 6-2, 6-2; Charlie Cutler d. Jesse Schouten, 6-2, 6-3; George Jecminek d. Antoine Bechmann, 6-4, 6-2.
ROUND of 32 — Kent Andreasen d. Kirk Evans, 6-0, 6-0; Alejandro Garcia Ferrero d. Wil Cochrane, 6-4, 7-5; Jason McNaughton d. Mitch Williamson, 6-0, 6-0; Tim Layman d. Matthew Pronesti, 6-4, 6-4; Trevor Dobson d. Avery West, 6-4, 6-4; Brent Wheeler d. Leo Young, 6-3, 6-3; Jesse Schouten d. Andrew Pritchard, 6-3, 7-5; Antoine Bechmann d. Guy Tauer, 6-1, 6-0.
SEMIFINALS — Jonathan Endrikat-Curt Wheeler d. Jason McNaughton-Nate Schnugg, 6-2, 7-6 (3); Charlie Cutler-Andy Gerst d. George Jecminek-Kyle McMorrow, 4-6, 6-3, 12-10.
QUARTERFINALS — Jonathan Endrikat-Curt Wheeler d. Kent Andreasen-Avery West, 6-4, 7-6 (3); Jason McNaughton-Nate Schnugg d. Garcia Ferrero-Michel Hukwo, 3-2, Ret. (injury); Charlie Cutler-Andy Gerst d. Reid Delaubenfels-Jesse Schouten, 7-5, 4-6, 12-10; George Jecminek-Kyle McMorrow d. Wil Cochrane/Matthew Pronesti, 6-2, 6-2.
ROUND OF 16 — Kent Andreasen-Avery West d. Brent Wheeler-Antoine Bechmann, 6-2, 6-2; Garcia Ferrero-Michel Hukwo d. Leo Young-Cesar Uauy, 6-3, 6-1; Wil Cochrane-Matthew Pronesti d. Trevor Dobson-Tim Layman, 4-6, 7-5, 10-2.
ROUND ROBIN — Kevin Carrigan d. Doug Hanson, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 11-9; John Petersen d. Derek Burgett, 6-3, 6-3; Doug Hanson d. Derek Burgett, 6-3, 4-6, 10-7; John Petersen d. Kevin Carrigan, 6-1, 6-2, Derek Burgett d. Kevin Carrigan, 5-7, 6-4, 15-13; John Petersen d. Doug Hanson, 3-6, 6-2, 11-9.
Sam Wheeler is a freelance writer living in Talent. Email him at email@example.com