Area tennis tournaments about to heat up

Herald-Tribune - Mic Huber - January 8, 2016

Sarasota’s Nikki Yanez prepares to hit the ball during a match at the Winter Nationals held recently in Arizona.

Nikki Yanez overcame an injury to have a successful tournament and Andrew Salu almost made history as a couple of Sarasota junior tennis players made the trek to Arizona to compete in the 12-under Winter Nationals in near Tucson.

Yanez, who won a national tournament last year, debated playing the Winter Nationals as she recovered from a knee injury she suffered while competing at the Orange Bowl tournament in December.

“I am glad I went,” Yanez, 12, said. “It was my third national and first away from the East
Coast. It was a great overall experience.” Yanez played seven matches, going 6-1 at the event. She reached the fourth round in the main draw and, as a consolation, won the Silver bracket.

“What I learned from my loss was invaluable,” she said about losing in a third-set tiebreaker. “We made a few changes and I played my best matches at the end.”

Yanez lost just five games combined in her final two matches during the tournament, which was played with temperatures primarily in the mid-30s.