Jim Kohr found himself on a treacherous path en route to the Men's Singles final of the York City-County Tennis Tournament.
Two younger players made strong bids on Thursday, trying to take down the 17-time champion, but Kohr was up to the challenges. He won both matches to reach the championship match one more time.
The 50-year-old Kohr will face last year's winner, Phil Myers, in the final. The match is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Wisehaven Tennis Center.
Kohr began his day by outlasting Tim Dunn. 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (6). The match had been suspended by darkness on Tuesday with Kohr leading, 3-2, in the third set.
Following the completion of that match, Kohr took on Jared Howat, the 2013 champion in a semifinal. After losing the first set, Kohr rallied for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory.
"These young guys, they're hitting the ball really hard," Kohr said. "You have to stay focused, you have to execute and you have to brush off mistakes.
"What is he, 20 or 21," Kohr asked following the match against Dunn. "He was solid on both sides (forehand and backhand). Luckily, I got some second looks at serves and I got some double faults.".
Dunn did have three double faults in the tiebreaker, but also had a match point which he was unable to cash in.
Having survived Dunn's challenge, Kohr took on Howat in a semifinal. Howat dominated early, taking the first set and winning two of the first three games in the second set.
Kohr, though, responded by taking charge of the match. He won the next nine games (the last five of the second set and the first four of the third set). He executed a backhand winner on match point.
Myers also moves on: While Kohr was besting two challengers, Myers secured his place in the final for the third time in five seasons with an impressive 6-1, 6-1 victory over Jason Phillips.
Myers will bid for his third title (he won last year and also in 2014).
Markle takes women's crown: Meanwhile, New Oxford High School graduate Dagney Markle captured her first Women's Singles title by besting Julianne Cassady, 6-1, 6-3.
Markle, who plays for the Wilkes University women's tennis team, placed second behind Katie Wagner in last year's City-County Tournament.
Just three players entered the Women's Singles draw this year.
"It definitely was a smaller bracket this year," Markle said. "I think consistency was the key for me today. I was getting more balls back."
Markle didn't have to be introduced to her opponent in the final.
"I played with her for many years," Markle said. "She's gotten so much better."
Cassady will be a senior at Susquehannock High School this coming school year.
Hunter Jones and Taylor Jones won the Mixed Intermediate Doubles title and Carl Stroyzk teamed with Dave Keys to take the Men's Intermediate Doubles championship.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.