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Indianola Junior Achieves Rare Double Victory

July 10, 2005 03:28 PM

Twelve-year-old Lewis Butler has had incredible success this year on the tennis court. Late last month Butler, who lives in Indianola, Mississippi, became the first player to win both the Southern Closed and Southern Open Championships in the Boys’ 12 Singles since the Southern Open was reinstated in 2000.

Lewis Butler is quickly making a name for himself on the junior circuit.
Butler first captured the Southern Closed Championship at the Richland County Tennis Center in Columbia, SC on June 25. As the no. 3 seed he dominated no. 5 Robbie Mudge, 6-0, 6-1, in the finals. The following week Butler completed the difficult title sweep when he defeated Nevy Singh at the Southern Open Championship at the Westgate Tennis Center in Dothan, AL. Playing as the event’s top seed Butler’s dominance continued as he beat Singh, 6-1, 6-1 in the finals. He did not drop a set the entire tournament.

Butler is currently the top ranked player in both the USTA Mississippi and the USTA Southern Section Boys’ 12 Singles divisions. In addition to the Southern Open and Closed tournaments, he also captured titles at the Mississippi Jr. Clay Court Closed Championship, Memphis’ Leftwich Jr. Singles Challenge (in the 14’s), the BullFrog USTA Southern Section Designate of Little Rock, and the Peach State Championship in Georgia.

“With all that he has accomplished in 2005 there is little doubt that Lewis will be among the top junior players in the Southern Section for many years to come,” said Bill Ozaki, director of junior competition for the USTA Southern Section. “He has a very promising future.”

Lewis is coached by his father Lewis Butler, Sr.

"As a coach, Lewis is one the most gifted young tennis players that I have ever seen. He has a very good knowledge of the game and he is blessed with good athletic ability. He is really mentally tough. he seems to stay focus and is not bothered by whatever happens on the court. He has the mannerism of Arthur Ashe and the temperment of Borg. He is really fun to watch play."

As a father, Lewis Senior has always stressed to his son the importance of just going out (on the court) and having fun.

"Whether he wins or loses, he gets the same thing from me - a hug and then we go out to eat. There is never any pressure of him to win mainly because I know that every time he is on the court he is giving it his all. As a father, after he won the Southern Closed, I felt very proud and happy for Lewis. It showed him that if he worked hard on the court and in the classroom, that nothing is beyond his reach. I think winning that tournament taught him more than what I could have."




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