JoAnn Lathrop has been playing tennis for 30 years, so there isn't much that she hasn't seen on a tennis court.
But last Sunday's championship tilt in the city's 7.0 mixed doubles championship match turned out to be a first for the veteran player.
Lathrop, along with her husband, Don, had advanced to the finals to face Jean and Jeff Wolf.
The Lathrops had won the first set 6-2 and had a commanding 4-1 lead in the second set before things started to get interesting. "We were cruising along, when all of a sudden they came to life," JoAnn Lathrop said. "Before we knew it, the score was 5-4 them, and we needed to win just to tie things up."
The Lathrops won the point to tie the set, but that wasn't the end of the story. The seven-point tiebreaker turned into a marathon with both pairs having a chance to win, but neither team taking the necessary steps to gain the required two-point advantage.
"It just kept going and going," JoAnn Lathrop said. "It's the longest tiebreaker I've ever played."
Thirty-two points later, the Lathrops were able to put the Wolfs away and escaped with a two set 6-2, 7-6 (17-15) win.
"It was a great weekend for tennis in Steamboat," tournament director Jim Swiggart said. "We had 78 players and a lot of very competitive matches." Other winners included Patty Kreutz and Raul Katthain, who topped Gillian Kane and Andy Schoeberlein in the 9.5 division. Kane and Joel Toy teamed up to take the 9.0 title, Sherry Reed and Don Toy collected the title in the 8.5 division and the father-daughter team of Joel and Kristin Toy topped the 8.0 division.
Roberta Gill and Tim Bishop were crowned mixed doubles champs at 7.5, the Lathrops earned the title at 7.0 and Kathi Ayres and Andre Rogers captured the title in the 6.5 division.
Shelby Reed teamed up with father Randy to win the 6.0 division in the final city championship match of the season.
"This year's event featured great competition at every level," Swiggart said. "It was great to see so many families out there and have fathers and daughters earning titles together."
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