York City-County Tennis Tournament director Phil Myers needed someone to present an award on Monday evening.
The tournament director usually handles that honor, but in this case, Myers was one of the recipients.
He teamed with Kristine Criswell to win the Mixed Doubles title with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 victory over Kaltrin Bullaj and Adriana Bullaj.
Myers couldn't present himself and his partner with the award, so Mikesh Desai, who assists in running the tournament and is a member of the seeding committee, did the honors.
Playing in the annual tournament, and coordinating it for the first time, has been a scheduling challenge, at times, for Myers, who's had to deal with rain almost every day.
Friday's opening-day schedule was wiped out. Those matches were made up during a full day of play on a sunny Saturday. Rain returned again on Sunday, but the sun eventually came out and dried the courts in time to complete the schedule.
Monday's Mixed Doubles final got started on time only to have a downpour drive the players from the Farquhar Park courts with Myers and Criswell leading, 2-1, in the first set. Following a two-hour delay, play resumed at 7:20 p.m.
"I was a little bit concerned that we weren't going to be able to finish," Myers said. "I thought the courts would dry a little bit quicker."
When the players resumed their shot-making, Myers and Criswell won four of the first five games to wrap up the first set. The Bullajs, though, refused to be swept in straight sets. They responded by winning the second set to set up the winner-take-all third set.
After Kaltrin Bullaj held serve in the first game of the deciding set, the Myers-Criswell duo captured three straight games to take the lead for good. Myers put a backhand volley away into an open court on match point.
"We started making shots in that third set," he said. "We got tight in that second set."
Myers praised Criswell's serving in the final set.
"She served a lot better and starting making her first serve. She was the X factor in the third set," he said.
Other action: While the Mixed Doubles was completed at Farquhar Park, Jared Howat and Nathan Gambino finished their Men's Singles semifinal under the lights at Penn State York.
Howat and Gambino played until 8:40 p.m. at Farquhar Park until it became too difficult to see the ball. Howat, the No. 1-seeded player, ended up defeating the No. 3-seeded Gambino, 6-4, 6-3.
Myers, the No. 2 seed, will take on Jason Phillips, the No. 4 seed, in a Men's Singles semifinal at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Farquhar Park. The winner will face Howat in the title match on Wednesday evening.
The Men's Doubles championship match featuring Howat and Desai against Craig Diehl and Jeff Clark will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, also at Farquhar Park. Diehl, an 11-time singles champion, is not competing in that draw this year. The 52-year-old (53 in September) bested Myers in last year's singles final.
"I went back and forth on it (whether or not to enter singles)," Diehl said. "I had an inconsistency with practice, and that made me decide not to compete in singles. I would hit (tennis balls) for two or three days in a row, but then I would miss three days."
Diehl won last year's crown after not competing in City-County singles for 10 years. The former Spring Grove High School and Bloomsburg University star has had hip replacement surgery and sustained a broken ankle during a City-County mixed doubles final.
"In theory, the way the tournament schedule is set up this year, with good weather, I could end up playing four singles matches in four days plus doubles. I can do that on clay, but not on a hard court," Diehl said.
Dick VanOlinda is a sports reporter for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolin email@example.com or wat 505-5407.