Maguire, Wagner capture York City-County singles championships
Matt Maguire entered the 95th Marion Brown York City-County Tennis Tournament as the No. 5 seed in the Men's Open Singles draw.
He departed the competition on Tuesday evening at No. 1 — the 2015 champion.
Maguire completed a perfect run through the bracket with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over last year's winner, Phil Myers, in the title match.
The Kutztown University graduate wasn't the only champion crowned on Tuesday. On a Wisehaven court next to the Men's Open Singles final, Katie Wagner earned a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 decision over Kelly Smith to capture the Women's Open Singles title.
"I told him (Maguire), 'I hope you realize how important this tournament is,'" kidded Myers, who also has been the tournament director for the past three years. "He joked, saying he would 'sleep with the trophy.'"
Maguire didn't have his eyes on the prize at the beginning of the six-day event.
"I just came out to have a good time, and this is what happened," he said, gesturing toward the championship trophy.
Maguire used strong closing runs in both sets to claim the title. Locked in a 2-2 tie in the opening set, he won the final four games. Maguire closed the set with a service ace down the T. In the second set, Myers jumped out to a 4-2 lead, but Maguire again responded by winning four straight games to seal the outcome. The new champion pounded four service winners in the last game and 10 altogether in the second set.
"He served pretty well," Myers said. "He came out ready to play, and so did I, but he took his game to another level. I needed to be more aggressive. You can't let a guy with a forehand like that dictate play."
Maguire's consistency was a factor, as it was throughout the tournament.
"I was relying on getting (the ball) deep and making one more shot than him," Maguire said. "We were going back and forth for a while. I had momentum. He had it, but I was lucky enough to have it longer."
Women's title match: Wagner, like Maguire, played in City-County for the first time this year.
"I wanted to look into playing over the summer, and I felt this (tournament) would be a good opportunity and, obviously, good competition," said the Susquehannock High School graduate who plays both tennis and basketball at York College.
Winning a tournament at Wisehaven was special for Wagner.
"I grew up playing here, so to win a tournament here is cool," she said.
Smith proved a formidable opponent.
"She's a good player, and she had a great forehand," Wagner said. "Once I was able to hit shots and not hit them out (of play), like I was in the beginning, I got the hang of it and made a little comeback in the first set and just continued with that in the second set."
Another win for Maguire: Maguire, meanwhile, was not done playing following the Men's Singles final.
He teamed up with Ben Nace to outlast Craig Diehl and Ken Myhre, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 10-8, in a Men's Open Doubles semifinal. Maguire and Nace will take on Myers and Tom Brink for the championship at 6;30 p.m. Wednesday. Maguire became the fifth different Men's Open Singles champion in the past five years.
"I've lost three of those finals, and from a player's standpoint, you can't be happy about that," Myers said. "But, it's great from a tournament director's standpoint to have that many high quality players."
The tournament also had a Women's Open Singles draw for the first time since 2012, when the bracket featured just three players.
"We had nine (in Women's Open Singles) this year, and we're looking to build on that," Myers said. "I'm trying to get more adults and high school kids. This tournament is very close to my heart, although I realize that right now it isn't what it was back in the day when people planned their schedule around this tournament for two weeks."
The tournament moved to Wisehaven this year after being played for decades at Farquhar Park.
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.