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Leonard Mathews gets off to fun, fast start at P-T Classic

Rachael CrookstValparaiso competes Post-Tribune Tennis Classic Valparaiso University Friday July 26 2013. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media

Rachael Crookston of Valparaiso competes in the Post-Tribune Tennis Classic at Valparaiso University on Friday, July 26, 2013. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 28, 2013 6:18AM



VALPARAISO — Leonard Mathews’ game plan on winning tennis is simple.

“Just go out and have fun,” the Merrillville graduate said.

It’s a lot easier having fun when you pitch a shutout in the first round of the men’s singles division of the Post-Tribune Tennis Classic. Mathews will continue in the winner’s bracket at Valparaiso University after a 6-0, 6-0 win over Crown Point’s Charles Slager.

“The key was to be fast and to get to every ball you can,” Mathews, an Indiana Westleyan student, said. “You can’t lose that way.”

Even if the on-and-off light rain may have gotten in the way.

“It wasn’t that much of a factor,” Mathews said. “I’ve seen worse.”

Mathews’ second round match will be Saturday when he faces Joshua Bartusch of Valparaiso, who also was a straight set winner, 6-1, 6-4, over Hobart’s Robert Eberle.

It won’t be the first time that Bartusch and Mathews will share a tennis court with one another, although it will be the first time the two will actually face each other.

“I’ve watched him play for a while in high school,” said Bartusch, who would be involved in one match while Mathews would be involved in another in the past. “My biggest concern from today was his serve. Other than that, he’s tough mentally. He has good shot placement. He’s definitely moving people around today.”

Winners in the women’s open singles division include Wheatfield sisters Kate and Molly Sanderson and Valparaiso’s Rachael Crookston.



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