Baylor student wins state tennis title

Baylor student wins state tennis title

May 28th, 2011 by Gene Henley in Springfling2011

Baylor's Sanya Brkovic swings for the ball during Spring Fling in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Friday. Staff Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Baylor's Sanya Brkovic won the Division II-AA state tennis singles championship Friday.

The 16-year-old German exchange student finished off what will be her only season at Baylor by defeating GPS's Bronte Goodhue 6-1, 6-4 at Old Fort State Park.

Brkovic's title was the only win for a Chattanooga school in Friday's championships. Baylor's Harper Caswell and Sarah Berchuck fell in straight sets to Hutchison's Caroline Orr and Maggie Leavell in the doubles final, and McCallie's Bobby Brouner lost 7-5, 6-4 to Memphis University School's Marshall Sharp in Division II-AA boys' singles.

Arts & Sciences' Jackson Lenoir lost the Class A/AA boys' singles championship to Madison's Josh Ward, 6-4, 6-1, while Notre Dame's John Dorris and Nick Wurm fell 6-2, 6-1 to defending Class A/AA doubles champions Cameron Dickerson and Will Sparks from Christian Academy of Knoxville.

Brkovic broke Goodhue's serve eight times in improving to 17-4 on the season. She played Goodhue four times since arriving on the Baylor campus, winning each time. Her continual changes in style made her a tough opponent for the GPS senior.

"I tried everything," Goodhue said. "Sometimes she wants to hit the ball hard, while other times she wants to hit high lobs to me all match long.

"I wanted to be more aggressive and try to move her around some."

Goodhue, who will play at Sewanee next year, finished the season 17-7.

The ecstatic Brkovic was almost at a loss for words afterward.

"When I came here, I didn't even know things like this [the state tournament] existed," she said. "We just have club tennis back in Germany."

She won the last five games of the first set, then built a 4-1 lead in the second before Goodhue held serve. Goodhue then broke Brkovic to close to within 4-3, but Brkovic had two breaks, sealing the title when a Goodhue return went long.

She agreed that changing styles worked to her advantage.

"I just try to see how my opponent is playing and adjust my style to build on my strength - my forehand," Brkovic said.

"It just means a lot."

Said Goodhue: "I came into the season with a goal to make it to the finals after getting beat in the semifinals the past two years. I reached that goal.

"She was just better today. She knew what she wanted to do and did it."