It was the same tournament, same players, almost an identical match and the same outcome, only this year Utah will be able to claim as a resident the winner of the men's open Love 5 Intermountain Sectional.
Before tennis patrons at the Sports Mall, Peter Mallett, a tennis pro at the Canyon Racquet Club, beat Scott Warner, a touring tennis pro from Las Vegas, Nev., 6-4, 6-3.In the women's final, Debbie Robb of Salt Lake City, beat Carol Bailey of Steamboat Springs, Colo., 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Mallett and Warner played in last year's final, too. And, while the score was different, 6-3, 7-5, the pattern of play was the same - Mallett playing well and steady, Warner having his troubles at the net and with his service. Also, Mallet at the time was living in Colorado.
This year the pattern was repeated. Mallett played a strong steady game, while Warner had problems with his service, again, and his play at the net. Mallett made only nine unforced errors in the game, to 20 for Warner.
It was Mallett's intention at the start of this match to play the same game he did last year if he could.
"If Scott's serve is on his whole game is different. The key is to make him hit volleys. He's not as strong there," he said after the match. The rest, he added, was trying to play as steady and consistent as he could . . . "and I think I did that pretty well today."
Warner did, in fact, miss three easy volleys to lose the third game of the second set, which eventually cost him the set and match.
Warner also had trouble serving. While Mallett was hitting a consistent average of 75 percent of his first serves, Warner was hitting only about 50. Warner, in fact, lost the deciding fourth game in the first set with two double faults.
Mallett is a new face in Utah tennis. He came from Queensland, Australia, to play tennis for Oklahoma State. After graduation he moved to a tennis club in Denver. In January his wife was transferred to Salt Lake City. Mallett moved, too, and became a teaching pro at the Canyon Racquet Club.
The Robb-Compton match had its ups and downs. Neither player was at the peak of her game. Both had troubles on the serve.
Robb started out hitting 21 percent of her first serves, but did manage to bring it up to 46 percent for the match. Compton, a a Weber State player, hit about 56 percent.
The key was Robb's aggressive net game. She forced Compton to hit to her. Compton did have a good passing shot, but wasn't able to hit it enough. Compton won only twopoints at the net, while Robb won 33 points.
Robb played tennis for BYU for two years, then joined the pro circuit for several years.