Girls singles championships and boys singles semifinals highlighted the action in the Bocage Junior Open State Championships at Bocage Racquet Club on Monday.
Baton Rougean Billie Rodman defeated No. 1 seed Abigail Inabnet 6-3, 6-0 to win the Girls 16 division. Uns?eeded Emily Ory, of Lafayette, defeated No. 5 seed Morgan Forshag 7-6 (5), 6-4 in Girls 14. Ory defeated the second-, third- and sixth-seeded players on her way to the finals.
In Girls 12, Katie Stuart, of Baton Rouge, fell to Caroline Grayson, of Mandeville, 6-4, 6-3.
Rodman, who had a second-place finish last year, jumped ahead early in the first set over Inabnet, then won the second set decisively.
“In the first set, I got ahead. But she started to come back before I pulled it out,” Rodman said. “The best part of my game was hitting winners off my backhand.
“We had played four times before, and she’d won two and I’d won one.”
Rodman had a tough match in a 6-3, 7-5 win over Lacee Ancar, of New Orleans, in the semifinals.
“She hit really hard and it messed up my game, but I was able to figure out a way to win,” she said.
It was Rodman’s first championship in three tournaments this summer.
Ory was one of the top stories of the tournament as the 11-year-old had to defeat four seeded players for the title in her first tournament in the Girls 14 division.
“It was really hard,” Ory said. “I hadn’t played most of the players before and I didn’t know their shots. I had to play my doubles partner (No. 2 seed Kennedi Carter, of LaPlace) in the semifinals, and that was a really tough match (6-3, 3-6, 6-4).
“I’ve only beaten (Forshag) once, and I’ve played her a bunch of times. I just tried to move the ball and stay consistent,” she said.
The Girls 18 championship was played on Sunday, and Haley Ballinger, of Monroe, topped Alexandria Locure, of New Orleans, for the title.
Locure had to come from a set down in the semifinals to defeat Vandella Suico, of Baton Rouge, 1-6, 6-2, 6-0. Suico went on to finish third with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Lindsey Farrell, of Baton Rouge.
According to tournament director Ed Gaskell, 241 players were in the draw, an increase of three from last year’s tournament.
“We’ve had more out-of-state players this year,” Gaskell said, “with some from Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, Texas-and even one from France.”
The French player, Louis Mathis, of Reims, is in Baton Rouge for a monthlong English language immersion and travel program. He will be in the finals of Boys 16 after defeating No. 1 seed Charlton Boyd, of Shreveport, 7-6 (4), 6-1 in the semifinals.
“I came to learn English and play tennis, a lot of tennis. I play every day at Bocage. My serve and my backhand are probably the best part of my game.
“My family loves sports. In France I am a high-rated player only in my region. I had surgery on my right shoulder and both ankles have been hurt,” he said.
Mathis will meet Silvio Cocto-Monoc in Tuesday’s championship final.
Baton Rouge players Jeremy Braud and Cameron Andry will play for titles when the tournament concludes Tuesday.
Braud will face Cody Orgeron, of Mandeville, in Boys 14; and Cameron Andry plays Dudley Lampton, of Brookhaven, Miss., in Boys 18.
Boys finals begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Bocage.
The intense heat that has gripped Baton Rouge has been a factor in the tournament. Gaskell said a couple of players went to the hospital for treatment of heat-related illness. On Sunday, the No. 1 seed in Boys 18, Bobby Foroughian, of Baton Rouge, had cramps and retired in the third set of his quarterfinal match against Christian Mathis.