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Botts' generosity only goes so far

Tami Botts might be a little too nice for her own good.

The Louisiana State University senior from Ashland has trouble finishing off opponents after running them ragged on a tennis court.

"I probably shouldn't admit this, but I'm a pretty streaky player," Botts said. "I win a lot of games in a row and then let my opponents back in."

Botts pushed Jana Jusupovic of Vancouver, Wash., all over the place Saturday but found herself on the court far longer than necessary before walking off with a 6-3, 6-3 win.

"I've been working on developing a killer instinct in college," Botts said. "It's been tough putting opponents away."

Nonetheless, the former state high school champion advanced to today's women's finals in the sixth annual $10,000 Airport Chevrolet Open Tennis Championships at Rogue Valley Swim & Tennis Club.

Botts will play defending champion Stacy McKenna of North Bend.

The women's final is scheduled for 11 a.m. this morning, with the men's final set for 12:30 p.m.

The men's open singles final features doubles partners Brian Joelson and Mark Quinney, who own three of the previous five titles between them.

At stake is the $1,750 first-place payoff.

Botts led the third set 4-0 before Jusupovic dug in, winning three of the next four games. She swapped advantages with Botts six times, staving off game and match point to close within 5-3.

"She hung in there," Botts said. "She definitely didn't fold and I made way too many errors.

"I'm trying not to think of game points and thinking about each point at a time."

McKenna turned back 14-year-old Hillary Collins of Medford, 6-4, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1.

"(Collins) took me out of my game the second set and I wasn't able to handle the ball," McKenna said. "My forehand kind of let me down the last half of the first set and the first part of the second set. Once she was attacking my forehand, I couldn't find the court."

Collins built a 4-1 advantage in the second set and survived a tie-breaker to force a third set against the 2000 state high school runner-up, who now plays for Washington State.

"I practice with people who are older than me, so age isn't a factor," Collins said. "Third sets are always tough for me. In junior tournaments you get a break after the second set. It was a little different going straight into the third set and I lost focus."

In men's play, top-seeded Joelson of Beaverton gained a little more focus with each round. He dispatched his son, Brett, 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals, while No. 2 seed Quinney outlasted Stuart Ross Duncan of Irvine, Calif., 7-6, 7-6 (7-5)

"My son knows its a long walk to Portland if he beats me," Joelson said.

The younger Joelson will be a junior at St. Stephens Tennis Academy in Austin, Texas. His sister, Ashley, will be a freshman at the academy next fall.

The Joelsons have spent the past two weeks vacationing in Montana and Wyoming. So it took a while to scrape off the rust.

"I've been playing tennis for 30-some years," Brian Joelson said. "You come back, it's the same court, the same racket. You get a feel for it as you go along.

"At this point, I play tournaments for enjoyment and exercise. If I don't enjoy it, I won't even go. I'm friends with Quinney and we usually spend more money than we make on meals and wine. But this is all about having fun."

This is Joelson's fourth time in the tournament finals. He won in 1999 and has twice finished second. Quinney won in 1996 and 1998.

Quinney struggled more than two hours against Duncan before prevailing.

"The difference was that I got a little more patient and picked my opportunities to attack rather than quickly attack and make unforced errors," Quinney said.

"When you come to the realization that you're making too many unforced errors, it slows you down. I play my best tennis when I'm not rushed."

Apparently, Gale Holt of Klamath Falls and Doug Flansbury of Palouse, Wash., weren't in much of a hurry either.

The pair met up in the semifinals of the men's 55 clay court championship and traded shots for four hours before Holt emerged a 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) victor.

The match wore on so long that neither could remember the tie-breaker score from the first set.

Singles

WOMEN

QUARTERFINALS - Jana Jusupovic, Vancouver, Wash., d. Ashley Joelson, Austin, Texas, ns; Hillary Collins, Medford, won by default over JeriLynn Gonzales, Beaverton; Stacy McKenna, North Bend, d. Chieko Holt, Klamath Falls, 6-1, 6-0.

SEMIFINALS - Tami Botts, Ashland, d. Jusupovic, 6-3, 6-3; McKenna, d. Collins, 6-4, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1.

MEN'S OPEN

FIRST ROUND - Daisiti Murakami, Tumwater, Wash., d. Levi Brown, GP, 6-2, 6-3; Jason Falzone, Ash, won by default over Chad Evett, Portland; Jeremy Root, Roseburg, won by default over Colin Gricie, Albany; Joaquin Hamden, Correan, Mexico, d. Carl Swanson, McMinnville, 6-3, 6-4; Brett Joelson, Austin, Texas, d. Ty Garrison, Portland, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); Brad Joelson, Palm Springs, Calif., d. Jeremy Leever, Medford, 7-6, (7-5), 7-5; Matt Baer, Santa Barbara, Calif., d. Akinori Shinizu, Tumwater, Wash., 6-0, 6-2; Wade Judy, Eugene, d. Jarrod Diepram, Irvine, Calif., 7-5, 6-1; Alex Martin, McMinnville, won by default over Nick Baker, McMinnville.

SECOND ROUND - Brian Joelson, Beaverton, d. Murakami, 6-3, 6-4; Jon Endrikat, Medford, d. Falzone, 6-2, 6-2; Jeremy Root, Roseburg won by default over Peter Malaceck, Portland; Brett Joelson, d. Hamaden, 6-4, 6-4; Stuart Ross Duncan, Irvine, Calif., d. Brad Joelson, 6-1, 6-0; Baer d. Dougal Williams, Portland 6-1, 4-6, 7-5; Nick Quatrochi, Portland, d. Judy, 6-1, 6-4; Mark Quinney, Eugene, d. Martin, 6-0, 6-3.

QUARTERFINALS - Brian Joelson d. Endrikat, 6-7, (7-4), 6-2, 6-3; Brett Joelson d. Root, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1; Duncan d. Baer, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; Quinney d. Quatrochi, 6-3, 6-0.

SEMIFINALS - Brian Joelson d Brett Joelson, 6-3, 6-3; Quinney d. Duncan, 7-6, 7-6 (7-5)

MEN'S 35

FIRST ROUND - Andris Olins, Ashland, d. Bob Bryant, Medford, 6-7 (7-5), 6-4, 6-1.

QUARTERFINALS - Don Perone, Medford, d. John Peterson, 6-1, 6-0; Dave Moss, Lake Oswego, d. Olins, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Steve Bolstad, Portland d. Don Neuner, Medford, 7-5, 6-2; John Delaney, Medford, d. Rick Jackson, Medford, 6-4, 7-5.

SEMIFINALS - Perone d. Moss, 6-4, 6-2; Bolstad d. Delaney, 7-5, 6-7 (7-5), 6-4..

MEN'S 55

QUARTERFINALS - Don Maki, Kalam, Wash., d. Steve Williams, Sun River, 6-4, 6-4; Gale Holt, Holt, Klamath Falls, d. Robert Jensen, Bend, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (6-4).

SEMIFINALS - George Watts, Bend, dec. Maki, 6-2, 6-3; Holt, d. Doug Flansbury, Palouse, Wash., 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6).

Doubles

MEN'S OPEN

FIRST ROUND - Matt Baer, Santa Barbara, Calif.-Ty Garrison, Portland, d. Jason Falzone, Ashland-Jeremy Leever, Medford, 6-3, 6-4; Brad Joelson, Palm Springs, Calif.-Brett Joelson, Austin, Texas, won by default over Akinori Shinizu-Daisiti Murakami, Tumwater, Wash.

QUARTERFINALS - Brian Joelson, Portland-Mark Quinney, Eugene, won by default over Alex Martin, McMinnville-Colin-Gricie, Albany; Jon Endrikat, Medford-Carey Collins, Medford, d. Baer-Garrison, 7-6, 6-4; Stuart Ross Duncan-Jarrod Diepram, Irvine, Calif., d. Brad Joelson-Brett Joelson, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2; Nick Quatrochi-Dougal Williams, Portland, d. Jeremy Root-Tristan Bounds, Roseburg, 6-4, 6-2.

SEMIFINALS - Joelson-Quinney d. Collins-Endrikat, 6-4, 6-2; Quatrochi-Williams, d. Ducan Diepram, 6-2, 6-4.

MEN'S 35

SEMIFINALS - Don Neuner-Rick Jackson, Medford, d. Dave Moss, Lake Oswego-Steve Bolstad, Portland, 7-5, 6-3; Dan Perone-Bob Bryant, Medford, 6-2, 6-3.

WOMEN'S 35

SEMIFINALS - Donna Yamashita-Karen Klinger, Gresham, d. Linda Williams, Sun River-Martha Kiefer, Medford, 6-4, 6-3; Vicki Cline, Medford-Cindy Ogden, Grants Pass, d. Merilyn Tribble-Tekla Delaney, Medford, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4483, or e-mail