A Burnet tennis player captured the first championship since COVID-19 closures at the Horseshoe Bay tournament on July 17 and 18.
Zaida Freeman overcame two opponents during the two day competition: the player on the other side of the net and the brutal July Texas heat.
Even though there have been no tournaments or events for the last four months, Freeman stayed very busy with practices and workouts to keep her skills sharp and improving. This paid off as she played very well in the tournament and earned her first tournament championship since the eighth grade.
She started off a bit slow in her first match as she was trying to get used to the transition from drills to actually playing games and keeping score. But she cruised to a fairly easy victory with scores of 6-4; 6-1 and advanced to the second round where she had to play the top seeded player in the tournament.
Having fine tuned in the first match, Freeman cruised to a fairly easy victory in the second match with scores of 6-3; 6-2. That advanced her to the finals against the number two seed.
Fortunately, the finals were scheduled for the next day as the heat was beginning to take its toll on many of the players.
The championship match began at 8 a.m. Sunday morning and the sun was already pretty intense. Freeman started off in great form and cruised to a 4-1 lead in the first set but then began to struggle a bit with inconsistency.
She managed to win that set 6-3 but then struggled to hold serve in the second set which resulted in her only set loss of the tournament 3-6. That put the finalists in a third set tie-breaker.
Both players were fairly even up to 4-4 when Zaida hit her stride again and began to control the match winning the next six points in a row for the set and the championship.
“I was mad at myself at times, but was also happy to be playing in matches again,” Freeman said. “I was also happy to win the tournament.”