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Schnugg reaches deuce with Bulant.

Byline: Paula Lincoln The Register-Guard

Youth won out over experience in the men's open singles final at the Pacific Continental Bank Tennis Championships Sunday afternoon.

Scott Schnugg evened the score against 40-year-old Jaro Bulant - who beat him last weekend at the Umpqua Valley Tournament in Roseburg - with a hard-fought 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 victory at Eugene Swim & Tennis Club.

The reverse was true in the women's open singles final, where Story Tweedie-Yates, 21, beat 17-year-old Momei Qu 6-4, 6-1.

"I'm glad it's over," said Schnugg, 22, who grew up in Medford, where he won the Rogue Valley Tournament two weeks ago. "It was a great match. Bulant is a great champion. It was a lot of fun."

Bulant, who is from the Czech Republic, won the toss and elected to receive serve to open the match, which proved to be an advantage for Schnugg, who opened the match with an ace, held serve, broke Bulant's serve, and then held again for a 3-0 lead.

"I wanted to stop the mistakes (I made last weekend), which were my first serve, and I wanted to establish my backhand a little more," Schnugg said.

Bulant won the next three games to forge a 3-3 tie, but Schnugg came back to win the next three and the set. Bulant and Schnugg each held serve to give Bulant a 3-2 lead which became 4-2 when he took advantage of errors by Schnugg to earn the break. Bulant held serve and then broke Schnugg to even the match at a set apiece.

"I think I was looking for three (sets)," Schnugg said. "I knew I probably had the advantage physically so I figured the longer it went, the better my odds were. Of course, I should have played a little stronger in the second set."

"I wasn't hitting the corners as well. It was a little windy, and I was hitting the middle a little more than I would have liked to," added Schnugg, who broke a 2-2 tie in the third set when he used his athleticism to reach a drop shot and then scored on the point in one of the best games of the match.

"I think it showed I was in it physically," said Schnugg, who earned a check for $2,200. "I wasn't going to give him any points. I'm young and I want to get every ball."

"I started very badly," Bulant said. "I came back in the second set and then I lost badly. I had some chances, but he played well today. He made some good important points at the right time."

Tweedie-Yates - whose idealistic parents named her Story because they wanted their children to learn something from their names - has one more year of college, so she wasn't able to collect the $800 winner's check for beating Qu.

"Momei is the kind of player I always have a hard time with," Tweedie-Yates said, "and I knew I'd have to execute my shots and be sure to be aggressive and come to the net or she'd dictate from the baseline, but I was a little older and a little more experienced."

"She held serve and she stepped up her game when it counted," Qu said. "Toward the end of the first set, she mixed up her shots - I hit the same no matter what the score is - which probably comes with experience."

CAPTION(S):

Scott Schnugg won the men's open singles title at the Pacific Continental Bank Tennis Championships on Sunday by winning his final over Jaro Bulant, who beat Schnugg last week. TENNIS
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 12, 2004
Words:595
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