Eventoff's racket rules Baltimore Open

July 13, 1992|By Tara Finnegan | Tara Finnegan,Staff Writer

Amid numerous picnickers and blaring car stereos in Druid Hill Park, Josh Eventoff of Baltimore defeated Tom Bender of Woodlawn, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-1, to win the men's singles championship of the Baltimore Open tennis tournament yesterday.

"This was a true test of somebody's concentration," said Eventoff, 25.

"But I enjoy all the excitement, the loose atmosphere. It takes the attention off of me."

But it was hard for Bender and Eventoff not to draw attention to themselves in their 2 1/2 -hour battle, which featured powerful ground strokes and finesse volleys.

Not bad for two players who are just getting back into competitive tennis.

Both Eventoff and Bender teach tennis in the Baltimore area. Both have taken time off from playing tournaments.

"I took off 12 months, no hitting at all, and I just recently started to come back and compete," Eventoff said.

Bender had a 5-3 lead in the first set, but Eventoff broke Bender and held serve twice to take a 6-5 lead. Bender held serve to force a tiebreaker, which Eventoff won, 7-5.

Bender, 26, rebounded to win the second set, 6-3.

"In the second set, I got a little tentative," Eventoff said. "I think I just let him dictate [the match] for a few games."

Said Bender: "There was no rhyme or reason to the first set at all, but I found a rhythm from 2-2 on in the second set. Something clicked mentally and my feet started to move.

"Mentally, I was doing things right in the second set, and in the third I never picked it up."

In the women's final, Jennifer Mowbray of Baltimore was awarded the title by default over Oriane Eriksen of Norway, who did not show up for the match.

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