Sunday, August 14, 2005


Lajola teams up
to win USTA title

The tennis player from Aiea
falls in singles but claims
the doubles crown

Dennis Lajola of Aiea didn't have time to agonize over being upset in the semifinals of the USTA National Championships at Kalamazoo, Mich., yesterday.

He had a doubles title to win.

Top-seed Lajola was swept 6-3, 6-4 by third-seeded Steven Forman in the 16 singles draw but turned it around with a 6-2, 6-2 doubles championship with Nate Schnugg over Johnny Hamui and Tyler Hochwalt.

Lajola lost in the final of the doubles tournament last year when he teamed with Hamui.

"I guess I wanted to win it," Lajola said. "After losing in the finals last year, I didn't want to go through that again."

Lajola and Schnugg, who was seeded fifth in the singles draw and plays Forman in the final today, were seeded first despite not playing together before. But they expect to get plenty of time together in the future after dropping only one set in five matches in the tournament.

"I guess since we won we will probably stay together for a while," Lajola said. "Everything seemed to click right from the beginning."

Things didn't click for Lajola in his singles semifinal. He says he had knocked off Forman three times before being upset yesterday, but it just wasn't his day. He plays Wil Spencer for third place today.

"I played pretty solid; he (Forman) was better than me today," Lajola said. "He was serving pretty well, everything was clicking."

Lajola expects to return to the island chain for the futures tournament in November and play tournaments, including the U.S. Open juniors.

He will also practice at the International Tennis Academy in Florida to stay sharp.

"I am so looking forward to coming home," Lajola said.

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