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Hills West's Courtney Provan wins Suffolk tennis title

Courtney Provan of Half Hollow Hills West returns

Courtney Provan of Half Hollow Hills West returns a volley during the Suffolk girls tennis singles individual championship against Hills East's Ester Chikvashvili at Smithtown High School East on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Provan won the match 6-2, 6-1 to claim the county title. Credit: James Escher

Courtney Provan had battled back from injuries that cost the Half Hollow Hills West sophomore her freshman season. Her comeback is officially completed.

The third-seeded Provan beat top-seeded Ester Chikvashvili of Hills East, 6-2, 6-1, to win the Suffolk girls individual tennis championship Monday at Smithtown East.

The pair split their previous two matches, including Chikvashvili's win in the Division I tournament final last week.

"We had three-set matches but she won the last one easier," Provan said. "I wanted to redeem myself."

Provan defeated Eastport-South Manor freshman Jackie Bukzin, a county finalist last season, 6-0, 6-2, in the semifinals.

"It was a lot tougher physically having to play both in the same day," Provan said. "Mentally, being out for a while -- this season has been about coming back from the injuries -- so it was great confidence-wise."

Provan and Chikvashvili traded the first five games in the first set until Provan got a break to take a 4-2 lead. Provan put away the next game with an overhand and broke serve again to take the set.

Chikvashvili broke Provan in the first game of the second set, but Provan took the next six games to win the title.

"I moved the ball around a lot better," Provan said. "I was trying to attack her backhand and last time I was playing too much to her forehand and playing short balls. I also served well, too."

In doubles, Hills East's Vanessa Scott and Stephanie Chikvashvili, Ester's younger sister, won the title, 6-0, 6-2, over Floyd's Lisa Lin and Kelci Henn, who also reached last year's championship match.

Scott won the title last year but with a different partner, Alli Huber. Although Scott and Chikvashvili played mostly singles this year, they complemented each other well.

"It was new for us to play together as a doubles team," Chikvashvili said. "But . . . we just work so well together."

Scott agreed: "She's a lefty and I'm a righty and it helps hitting winners and to be able to serve from both sides."

In addition to the singles and doubles finalists, Bukzin and the Hills West team of Danah Han and Nikaylah Williams qualified for the state tournament Nov. 1-2 in Latham.


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