First-time Mason state tennis qualifiers win it all in DI doubles

Mason freshman Emma Wagner and sophomore Pratyusha Chauduri emerged victorious in the OHSAA Division I girls tennis doubles championship after a dominant 6-0, 6-1 win over New Albany on Friday.

In the Division II singles tournament, Indian Hill sophomore Martha Thompson finished in second place after a rematch against Bexley’s Amiya Bowles. Thompson and Bowles previously faced off in the final at last year’s state championships, where Bowles claimed the top prize. This year, the outcome remained the same as Thompson lost 6-1, 6-2 to Bowles.

A Remarkable Journey to 1st Place

Wagner and Chauduri entered the state tournament as the Southwest champions and began their journey by facing the team of Violet Tuttle and Soph Uijtewaal from Hudson High School in the first round. The Comets secured a convincing 6-1, 6-1 victory, propelling them to the quarterfinals.

More: See who qualified for this week’s OHSAA state girls tennis tournament

In the semifinals, which served as Friday’s opening round, Chauduri and Wagner faced their toughest challenge of the day. They engaged in a competitive first set against Libby Alderman and Tyra Butler of Worthington Kilbourne, with Alderman and Butler putting up a fight to secure a 6-4 score. However, Wagner and Chauduri rallied back in the second set, ultimately winning 6-1 and securing at least a second-place finish.

The final match between the Comets and Richie Francois and Paige Cornelius of New Albany proved to be a swifter affair following the arduous semifinal. Wagner and Chauduri quickly gained a 4-0 lead and maintained their focus and chemistry throughout the match. Remarkably, no other doubles team at the tournament displayed as many celebratory high-fives as Chauduri and Wagner, who also had experience as singles players this season.

“Playing singles actually helps because we excel at the back and other aspects… (but) playing doubles is a bit more enjoyable,” Wagner remarked prior to her appearance in the finals on Friday.

The final showcased their exceptional teamwork as they flawlessly responded to every shot delivered their way. The Comets dominated the first set with a 6-0 win and continued their formidable performance with a 6-1 victory in the second set, ultimately claiming the state championship. This achievement marks the first state championship for both players.

Unfortunate Repeat in the Rematch

Martha Thompson reached the final match of the season for the second consecutive year, facing a familiar opponent.

“I’m proud of myself for making it to the same stage again because it’s truly challenging. I’m amazed by Amiya’s improvement, but I’m also proud of myself,” Thompson commented after her rematch concluded in a loss on Friday.

Thompson’s closest victory of the day came in her semifinal encounter with Caroline Boyle of Badin. Thompson secured a 6-1 win in the first set but narrowly escaped the second set with a 6-4 triumph. This win set her up for the redemption match.

During the warmups for the final, Thompson exuded relaxation and confidence as she and Bowles were the first to commence the championship matches. Bowles swiftly displayed strength and speed, forcing Thompson to react rather than dictate the pace. The match ultimately ended in two sets, with Bowles prevailing 6-1, 6-2.

Indian Hill's Martha Thompson returns a serve from her state finals opponent Amiya Bowles from Bexley at the Aspen Racquet Club during the OHSAA Division II girls tennis state championship. Friday, Oct. 20, 2023

Following the match, Thompson emphasized that she still has plenty of playing time and opportunities for improvement ahead.

“You always look towards the next step after this. So yes, I hope to face her in the finals [next year] and continue improving each year. Maybe I can secure the win at some point,” Thompson expressed.

Currently a sophomore, Thompson has several more years to strive


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