York City-County men's singles title match turning into a never-ending tennis story

Peter Landis returns the ball to Phil Myers during the York City-County men's singles tennis title match, Monday, August 26, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

EAST YORK — For once, the weather cooperated with the championship match of the men’s singles open division of the 99th annual York City-County Tennis Tournament.

Even though the weather didn’t prevail, however, Mother Nature still had a hand in preventing a clear outcome.

With two-time defending champion Phil Myers up 5-2 after play was postponed last week, Myers opened play Monday at Wisehaven Tennis Club by winning the first set against No. 2 seed Peter Landis, 6-2.

Myers continued to dominate play by taking three of the first four games of the second set.

Landis, however, rallied back from that deficit. With the sun slowly setting, Landis pulled off the comeback by winning the second set, 7-6 to force a third set. He won the tiebreaker, 8-6.

By the time Landis prevailed in the second set, the time was past 8 p.m. and play was again halted. So the two competitors will return to the courts for one more attempt to finish the match at 3 p.m. Tuesday back at Wisehaven.

The men's singles final was originally set for Aug. 14, but weather delays and scheduling conflicts have continually prevented it from being finished.

“I had my chances (in the tiebreaker) to close it out with my service game,” said Myers, who led 4-1 at one point in the tiebreaker and later had a match-point opportunity to win the contest in the tiebreaker. “But Peter really stepped it up there.”

That was the theme of the night for Landis. When his back was up against the wall, the Millersville University graduate was able to rally back.

Down 3-1 and trailing 0-40 while serving, Landis was able to pull within 3-2. With Myers leading 6-5 in the tiebreaker, the Red Land High School grad made a fantastic shot to pull even.

“I think it’s just my focus,” Landis said. “Whenever I am not entirely focused, I’m not on my game. I’ll just start to miss shots and put up a weak shot and (Myers) will crush it.”

Landis will have a shot to knock off the two-time champ Tuesday afternoon. The irony is that Myers played Monday after a dental appointment in the afternoon, while Landis will be doing the same thing Tuesday after visiting the dentist in the morning.

Both players signaled their happiness to extend play for another night after playing for nearly two hours for just more than a set.

“We played for 1 hour and 45 minutes,” Landis said. “And I was tired. I was just ready for it to be done, too. We were running around ragged, but it was a really good set.”

Myers, who is nearly 10 years older than Landis, smiled when asked if the extra day of play is to his advantage.

“Always to the old guy,” Myers said. “And I’m the old guy.”

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.