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Humbert claims junior singles title

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Photographs by Ben Goff

Yasmine Humbert of Bentonville competes Sunday in the girls 16 singles final during the Serena Smith State Farm Junior Open State tennis tournament at the Memorial Park tennis courts in Bentonville. Humbert defeated Erica Jaggernauth of Rogers to win the tournament.

BENTONVILLE — The first time Yasmine Humbert managed to hold her serve Sunday afternoon, it was needed to keep Erica Jaggernauth from pulling away with the match.

It was a little different the next time Humbert held serve. This time, it helped clinch the first set, then Humbert proceeded to claim the girls 16s singles title with a 7-5, 6-0 victory during the Serena Smith Junior Open at Memorial Park.

“It was hot, obviously. That always makes it tough,” Humbert said. “And all the girls I played were great players. I had some tough matches, and this last one was tough too. It was hard.”

Neither player held their serve until Jaggernauth — who recently moved to Rogers from the Tulsa area — did it to claim a 4-3 lead in the first set. Humbert, who played doubles for Bentonville High’s state championship team last fall, answered by holding her serve to tie the first set again, then broke Jaggernauth’s serve again for a 5-4 lead.

Both players then broke each other’s serve again, which gave Humbert a 6-5 lead. Humbert, the top-seed in the girls 16s singles division, then clinched the next game and the first set with a forehand winner out of Jaggernauth’s reach.

“I had never played her before,” Humbert said. “I just assumed she was going to be a great player, and I was just trying to play my best.

“I just tried to keep everything cross court. That’s kind of how I play, and I think it just worked.”

The second set was completely different as Humbert began to take over, and momentum was on her side. She held serve on all three occasions during the second sets and swept the match while keeping Jaggernauth’s points to a minimum.

“After winning the first set, usually the second set is a bit easier,” said Humbert, who will be homeschooled in the fall and will forego high school tennis. “You have the confidence that you need, and especially if you can’t hold serve and it stays tied.

“Those points are really hard. You have to really try and focus on your getting your serve, holding it and breaking the other person. The forehand was better, but the backhand — I’ve had better ones.”

The start of Sunday’s matches were delayed for two hours because of rain during the morning, then two other championship matches at Memorial Park had premature endings. Seth Hernandez of Little Rock had a 6-0, 3-0 lead in the boys 18s singles championship before an injury forced Quinn Sanders of Texarkana to withdraw.

In the boys 16s singles championship, top-seeded John Wylie had a 5-4 lead in the first set before his opponent, Bradley Niel of Rogers, suffered an injury and retired.

At a glance

Serena Smith Junior Open Tennis Tournament at Memorial Park, Bentonville, and Pinnacle Country Club, Rogers

Championship results

Boys

18s Singles Seth Hernandez, Little Rock, def. Quinn Sanders, Texarkana, 6-0, 3-0 (retired). 16s Singles John Wylie, Collierville, Tenn. def. Bradley Neil, Rogers, 5-4 (retired).

14s Singles Alexander Wells, Little Rock, def. Savan Cashman, Fayetteville, 6-3, 6-1.

12s Singles Devin Ruhotina, Fairfield Bay, def. Samuel G. Hardin, Bentonville, 6-0, 6-2.

10s Singles Oliver Wise, Fayetteville, def. Lucas Holloway, Fayetteville, 4-0, 4-0.

18s Doubles Seth Hernandez-Jackson Runnels def. Jack D. Ledbetter-Auguste Moisson, 9-7. 16s Doubles Jonathon Hart-John Wylie def. Tucker Harris-Bradley J. Neil, 9-8.

14s Doubles Richard Iselin-Jason Kusnowo def. Ian Phillips-Jack Pool, 8-1.

12s Doubles Samuel Hardin-Zackary Tappana def. Konner King-Cayden Knaust, 8-4. 10s Doubles Lucas Holloway-Oliver Wise def. Thompson Maner-Henry Maner, 1-4, 4-0; 1-0.

Girls

18s Singles Mary Houston, Fayetteville, def. Megan E. Richman, Germantown, Tenn., via walkover. 16s Singles Yasmine Humbert, Bentonville, def. Erica Jaggernauth, Rogers, 7-5, 6-0.

14s Singles Jenna D. Payne, Jonesboro, def. Annelise Deer, Fort Smith, 6-1, 6-1.

12s Singles Naya Kessman, Fayetteville, def. Stella M. de Vera, Rogers, 6-2, 7-6.

10s Singles Evie Sandlin, Fayetteville, def. Glennah Langford, Cave Springs, 4-0, 2-4, 1-0.

18s Doubles Final score not available

16s Doubles Emily Heide-Hannah Howell def. Sarah Schneringer-Kristyn Tappana, 8-2. 14s Doubles Caroline Long-Jenna Payne def. Jenna Bohnert-Anasazi Cervantes, 8-3.

Henry Apple can be reached at happle@nwadg.com or on Twitter@NWAHenry.

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