York City-County tennis champs include 1 familiar face, 1 rising star in singles action

STEVE HEISER
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Phil Myers, seen here in a file photo, is the 2021 Marion Brown York City-County men's singles open champion.
  • The 2021 Marion Brown York City-County Tennis Tournament finished last week.
  • Phil Myers won his fifth consecutive men's open singles championship.
  • Lexi Lakatosh captured her first women's open singles crown.

Phil Myers has done it again.

For a fifth consecutive year, Myers has claimed the Marion Brown York City-County men’s open singles tennis championship.

On the women’s side, however, there’s a new open champion — rising teen star Lexi Lakatosh.

Neither Myers nor Lakatosh lost a set during the event.

Those were the highlights from the 101st edition of the tournament, which concluded last week at the Wisehaven Tennis Center.

Myers, who is also the tournament director, downed sixth-seeded Mark Marini in the title match, 7-5, 6-4. Myers now owns six City-County men’s open singles championships overall.

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“The men’s draw was very challenging this year,” the top-seeded Myers said. “The seeds held up until the quarterfinal round, where we had a few surprises. Once we had reached that round, I felt like any of those eight players could be a threat to win the whole thing. I’ve played Mark Marini a couple of times before the finals match and the quality of tennis goes up every time. He has a big serve and forehand and usually holds serve pretty well. This match was no different and I was fortunate to break him twice in each set. Every time I play him, I have to be ready for a brawl and that’s exactly what I got this time.”

Myers, a former York High and York College standout, also won the men’s open doubles crown with Matt Taylor and the mixed doubles title with Heather Myers.

Women’s final: The second-seeded Lakatosh, meanwhile, took the women’s crown with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over top-seeded Dagney Markle. It was her first women's open singles title.

“Lexi looked steady throughout the match, limiting her unforced errors and patiently waiting for an opening with which to approach the net,” Myers said. “She played a very smart match against a tough competitor with lots of experience in City-County finals.”

Markle, a former New Oxford High School standout, was the 2018 City-County champion.

Lakatosh was named the York-Adams League Division I Player of the Year this past fall. The Red Lion High sophomore won the Y-A 3-A draw as a freshman.

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Some of the other City-County champions this year were: Steve Steele (men’s intermediate singles), Mabel Ma (women’s intermediate singles) and Amy Ankeny/Ann Clark (women’s open doubles).

“Huge success:” Now that he’s had time reflect on the 2021 event, Myers is happy with what transpired.

“This year’s tournament was a huge success and a great bounce-back from the 2020 edition, which was severely limited due to COVID,” he said. “I was very pleased with our turnout, as we had over 100 players. We’d like to provide more for our players — gift bags, T-shirts, more items in the silent auction, more engagement from our sponsors — anything to make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.”

Looking ahead: Now Myers is looking ahead to next summer, when he hopes to make a few changes to improve the tournament.

“For next year, I’ve turned my focus to forming a committee to run the tournament,” he said. “The distribution of responsibilities should make for a much better overall experience for the players. I’ll be there to oversee the transition, but this ensures that the tournament is in good hands for the indefinite future and it becomes more of a community-run tournament, as it is a tournament for the community.

“In the next three years, we’d like to return to Farquhar Park (the event’s former home) for the tournament. However that’s going to depend on if we can acquire funding to resurface the courts there.”

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.