Tennis: Kreklau tops Brandell for Elk River Open singles crown

Mitchel Brandell reached the finals with three wins, then fell to Mike Kreklau in the title match. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Mitchel Brandell reached the finals with three wins, then fell to Mike Kreklau in the title match. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Mike Kreklau of Maple Grove thwarted Mitchel Brandell’s bid for an Elk River Open singles championship on Saturday, after both posted an impressive semifinal win.

In a shortened final, due to approaching darkness after a three-hour rain delay, Kreklau topped the former Elk 10-6. Each had won three matches in the 16-player field.

Mike Kreklau, former Maple Grove and St. Thomas player, was open singles champ in the 42nd annual Elk River Open. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Mike Kreklau, former Maple Grove and St. Thomas player, was open singles champ in the 42nd annual Elk River Open. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Kreklau, a former University of St. Thomas player, and Brandell, a 2012 ERHS graduate who attends a Texas college for its tennis pro program, were each playing in their first ERO singles final.

Kreklau stopped an impressive 13-year-old Californian, Leyton Bohren, 10-4, in the semifinals, while Brandell won 10-8 over Jack Hansen, who played No. 2 singles for St. John’s this year as a freshman.

Bohren is son of a former Anoka player who won the ERO singles title years ago. The family spends a month in the area each summer and Leyton plays in as many tournaments as he can. Still small, but sporting a big swing, he smoked his first two opponents.

Hansen beat the kid 10-4 for third place.

Meanwhile, Sam Scheevel beat his brother Nick 10-6 for the consolation title. Their brother Chris was champion the last three years but wasn’t here this year.

Brandell took third at the ERO in 2011, and was consolation champion last year, while winning doubles with Scott Larson. This year, he beat Taylor Rothstein and Joey Evavold before facing Hansen.

Kreklau’s toughest match, meanwhile, was a 10-9 second-round win over Dyno Waiseman, 38, of Coon Rapids.

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