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story.lead_photo.caption Canadian Brayden Schnur returns a shot in a straight-set victory over Philip Bester in the final of the Bolo Bash tennis tournament at Rebsamen Tennis Center on Sunday. - Photo by Benjamin Krain

Brayden Schnur got the best of his fellow Canadian Philip Bester on Sunday.

Photo by Benjamin Krain
Philip Bester, from Canada, complains to the chair umpire during Sunday’s match against Brayden Schnur in the singles final of the Bolo Bash on Sunday at Rebsamen Tennis Center in Little Rock.

Schnur, from Toronto, defeated Bester of North Vancouver, British Columbia, 7-6 (4), 6-1 in the finals of the $25,000 USTA Futures Bolo Bash at Rebsamen Tennis Center in Little Rock.

USTA Futures Bolo Bash

Sunday’s results

At Rebsamen Tennis Center, Little Rock

SINGLES FINAL

Brayden Schnur, Canada, def. Philip Bester, Canada 7-6 (4), 6-1

DOUBLES FINAL

Luke Bambridge, Great Britain/Gavin Van Peperzeel, Austria def. Philip Bester, Canada/Ante Pavic, Croatia 2-6, 6-3, 11-9

It was Schnur's second USTA Futures title and fourth overall, also winning on the Canada Futures tour in 2013 and 2016. Schnur won in Tallahassee, Fla., last December.

Sunday's Bolo Bash final marked the fourth final Schnur (No. 362 in this week's ATP Tour rankings) and Bester (No. 383) have played against each other. Bester had won two of the first three finals before Sunday.

"It's pretty cool," said Schnur, who earned $3,600 for the victory. "He's got me twice. I've got him twice. It's a good rivalry. It's a healthy rivalry."

On Sunday, Schnur, 21, had four aces and won 79.5 percent (31 of 39) of his first-serve points. But Schnur said beating Bester, 28, is always bittersweet.

"He's one of the rare friends on tour I can call my friend," Schnur said of Bester, who won $2,100 for his second-place singles finish. "He genuinely cares for how I do and how I am. It's an individual sport and everybody has to be selfish at times. But he's a very selfless person. It's unlucky that we had to meet in the final and unlucky that I had to beat him. But at least it was in the final. If it would have gone the other way, I wouldn't have wanted to lose to anyone else other than him."

Bester said Schnur outplayed him.

"It was tough for me to find that extra gear that I needed today," Bester said.

Bester had a 4-2 lead in the first set, but Schnur forced a tiebreaker. He put away Bester 7-4 with a backhand shot that officials ruled in. Several fans at Rebsamen's Court 17 disagreed with the call as well as Bester, who heard the fans' displeasure.

"Can you hear it? Yeah!" Bester yelled after the first set.

The second set was controlled by Schnur.

Schnur took a 1-0 lead in the second set as Bester, disgusted with himself, launched a tennis ball over the Court 17 fence, earning a violation.

Schnur put away Bester with a break point to win the Bolo Bash title.

"I just stayed calm," Schnur said. "I knew he [Bester] had spent more hours on the court this week than I had. I knew my legs were more fresh. I was going to keep making him play and execute. If he had the game to execute the first set, I would have stuck with it. I kept telling myself, 'I can outlast him if I can get one set.'

"Fortunately, I got the break back. I played a really good first-set tiebreaker. Then, I just loosened up and played my game in the second set."

Frustration got to Bester, which he didn't excuse after Sunday's match.

"There were a couple of close line calls today," Bester said. "But I'm old enough to understand that's a part of it. It's unfortunate. But they even out throughout the year. It was tough that it was in a final, but that's not the reason why I lost today."

Bester also lost in the doubles final Sunday. Luke Bambridge of Great Britain and Gavin Van Peperzeel of Austria defeated Bester and Croatia's Ante Pavic 2-6, 6-3, 11-9

Schnur, 21, played collegiately at North Carolina before turning professional last July. One of his goals before the 2017 season was to reach the ATP top 250 and if he does, he can participate in the U.S. Open qualifying tournament in August.

"I'm close to reaching my goal," Schnur said. "But at the end of the day, if I'm not top 10 in the world, my dream hasn't been reached yet. I'm going to keep reaching for that. The goals I've set along the way are just footsteps."

Sports on 04/17/2017

Print Headline: Schnur beats rival-friend-countryman in final

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