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Players swatting, sweating

Top-seeded Manitoban bounced from under-18 event

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Despite the humidex hovering around 40 Wednesday afternoon, it was business as usual as the International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit's Canadian Mid-West under-18 tournament ran its second day of competition at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.

One had to wonder, however, how long anyone could last on the courts under the beaming sun with temperatures in the 31 C range and no shade.

"It was hot and it was a tough match," said Manitoba's No. 1 seed Kevin Kylar, admitting he was struggling towards the end of his 7-5, 6-4 loss to Dan Bednarczyk of London, Ont. "He is top ranked in Canada. I'm not 100 per cent sure what his ranking is, but he's good."

In fact, Bednarczyk is ranked fourth according to Tennis Canada's website while Kylar is listed as 31st.

"I think I should have won the first set probably," said Kylar. "I was up 5-4, but I played really well."

Actually, Wednesday's heat was not all that bad compared to Tuesday when Kylar beat Stefan Cooper of Great Britain 6-1, 6-1 in the first round. "Tuesday was really awful. I mean you couldn't really run or do anything. It was so hot that you just wanted the game to be over."

In men's doubles competition Tuesday, Kylar and his partner Tom Milnicoff, who is from Russia but is now living in Florida, lost their second-round match in the evening 6-2, 6-4 to Luke Gamble of Palm Coast, Fla., and Mohd Marzuki of Malaysia. Kylar and Milnicoff had won their opening match on Tuesday 6-2, 6-2 over Selem de Stefano of Brazil and Edmonton's Jordan Sluchinski.

As it happens, Kylar's bowing out of the under-18 tournament may be a blessing in disguise as he is also entered in the Manitoba Open tournament, which runs Thursday to Sunday at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.

The field for the Manitoba Open includes many of the high-ranking juniors from the Mid-West tourney.

Kylar wasn't in favour of holding both tournaments at the same time. But with a bye in the opening round he has plenty of time to rest up for his first game on Friday.

"I didn't like the idea of it," he said. "It (the Manitoba Open) is an afternoon and evening tournament, but (Tuesday) after I played two matches (singles and doubles), I wouldn't have been able to play another open match.

"It is not conducive to playing well in either tournament," he said. "If you're playing a singles match you don't really know whether to go after the ball or whether to rest for the next match. And if you are too tired you may have to pull out or put in a poor performance. Obviously I am out of the singles here (under-18 tournament), so it doesn't matter anymore. Now I can concentrate on the Open singles and the money."

A finalist in the Open last year, Kylar is optimistic.

"There are some good players in there so it will be tough, but I can make a run at it."

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 21, 2011 C4

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