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35+ is Mehilos' 1st Toledo Seniors win.

Chicago's Bill Mehilos earned his first age-group singles title and a 35-plus slam, stopping defending champ Josh Ho in a three-game contest.

Known for his doubles skills, Mehilos had to fight for his singles victory after Ho turned around Mehilos' lead to win Game 1.

"I started pretty well," Mehilos said, "but Josh got fired up after I built a lead. He pressured me with some great gets. I was swinging too hard and got a little winded in the first game."

Indeed, Mehilos used all three timeouts to catch his breath and try to stop Ho's advance, but the Maryland player took the first game 21-20. In Game 2, Mehilos moved the ball deeper, keeping Ho out of the front court and evening the match with a 21-7 victory.

Mehilos continued his momentum in the tiebreaker as he mixed serves, powerful drives and kills out of reach. The points came quickly and he rolled 11-0.

"I settled down and took a little off my swing," Mehilos said. "I tried to move him back and wait for my opportunity to put it away. It worked a little better for me."

The draw was small but talented. Ho survived a tiebreaker with Cleveland's Carlos Vazquez. Mehilos defeated Kendell Lewis, who now lives in North Carolina.

"Bill played very well and earned his win, especially in the tiebreaker," Ho said. "I will need to anticipate a little better next time."

A Lake Forest alum, Mehilos won the 35-plus at last year's Masters Doubles in Chicago with Mike Munson. He looks to be a force in age-group divisions. With sister Megan Domeker not present, Bill was asked: Who's the best player in the family?

"Megan," he said with a smile, "but not this year."

Semis: Josh Ho (Silver Spring, Md.) d. Carlos Vazquez (Cleveland) 20, (5), 6; Bill Mehilos (Des Plaines, III.) d. Kendell Lewis (Charlotte, N.C.) 6,10.

Final: Mehilos d. Ho (20), 7,0.

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Date:Nov 1, 2016
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