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Tennis returns to Fairbanks with Sam Woodke Tournaments

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 6:44 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -

Another sport has resurrected in the interior, as the Fairbanks Tennis Association (FTA) hosted the Sam Woodke Singles Tournament last week. With so many questions at the beginning of the season, FTA board member Sabine Siekmann was happy to see some competition on the Dan Ramras Community Tennis Courts.

“Tennis is really a great to sport to do while social distancing because you’re separated by the net, you don’t really come in close contact with each other,” said Siekmann. “[It has] just been so fun to be out here, being able to play tennis, beautiful weather, nice players, really been a good experience.”

In the men’s final, it was the teacher versus the student, as Lathrop senior Luke Millam squared-off against Lathrop coach Brett Carlson for the title. The nod went to the protege, as Millam was able to defeat Carlson to claim the crown. Millam is entering his senior year, and the time in the summer is valuable to improving his skills to catch the eyes of potential college coaches.

“I am trying to move on with my tennis, so it is really important for me to be able to get out here this summer and still be on the court and play.”

Millam is a Region XI Conference Champion with the Malemutes and has one more year to showcase his skills and the offseason is the perfect time perfect his talents.

“Coming to the net was my big thing that I wanted to work on this season,” said Millam. “Just being more consistent, my power is there, but I need to make sure I am placing it where I want it.”

On the women’s side, Siekmann defeated Kelsey Peterson in the finals.

Tennis, in an individual setting, can be as much mental as it is physical, which is why a player’s attitude is so important.

“I have always said tennis is played between the ears and it is such a great distraction too,” said Siekmann. “When you’re on the tennis court, everything else has to kind of fade away. You have to focus on yourself, the little yellow ball and making sure you do the best you can. The great thing is, every point you start over. Every point you have a new chance to get it right, every game you have a new chacne to get it right, every set you have a new chacne to get it right, you’re never out of it.”

Tennis action continues with a men’s and women’s doubles tournament held this week and a mixed doubles tournament the following week. Registration and information can be found at www.fairbankstennis.com.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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