Tracy Austin always wanted her annual doubles tournament to have a family feel to it, and the 41st edition had just that in the Men's Open Division Final Sunday morning at the Jack Kramer Club.
2014 Palos Verdes High graduate Jake Douglas paired with 2002 Peninsula High alum Rylan Rizza to defeat a pair of PV High seniors, Sean Holt and Kai Brady 6-4, 7-6.
Douglas grew up with the Holt family, and played doubles in high school with Holt's older brother and another of Austin's sons, Brandon. Sean is Austin's youngest son.
"All three (Holt brother's) are family to me," Douglas said. "We're playing against family here, and we've known each other since we've been born."
Rizza, a tennis coach at the Kramer Club, has coached all three throughout various stages in their lives, and even paired with Douglas to win the tournament in 2015.
He said having coached both Holt and Brady was a slight advantage for him and Douglas.
"I knew everything about their game," Rizza said. "I've spent so much time with them on the court, and I know their tendencies and weaknesses. But they're ridiculously tough."
Brady and Holt captured the Bay League, Ojai and CIF Southern Section doubles crowns during the 2019 season, but the pair knew they had their chances against Douglas and Rizza.
"The ball comes at you ten percent faster, and ten percent deeper," Holt said. "They're on you more, and its a totally different game. We got used to it, but credit to them—they played really well."
While Douglas graduated from PV before Sean started, he saw similarities in his game that he notices with Brandon.
"He styled his game a lot after Brandon's game," Douglas said. "You can see it in his strokes. He's improved tremendously this year, and you saw how they were in high school. You knew it was going to be a tough match."
Rizza noted he mainly coaches tennis players these days, but enjoys playing in the annual tournament for a multitude of reasons.
"I've played in this tournament a lot, and it's fun to play with Jake, someone I've played with since he was a little kid," Rizza said. "The reason why I play is to play in front of family and friends. Tracy has been a big supporter of mine and to play for her and her foundation is always fun."
Tournament Director Bob Krueger said there were more than 100 teams that signed up to play in the two-day event that took place at the Rolling Hills Estates Tennis Club at Ernie Howlett Park and the Kramer Club.
"The tournament was very well-attended," said Krueger, who has been with the tournament since 1985. "It was one of the bigger ones I remember, and there was a lot of diversity in all the levels."
The event saw 18 divisions vying for a tournament prize, with Douglas and Rizza earning $1,000.
In the Mixed Open Division Final, Nabeel Khan and Delanie Dunkle defeated Kai Brady and Maia Jung, 6-4, 6-2.
In the Women's "A" Division Final, Skye Belker and Emily Robertson defeated Kayla Brown and Kenyon Thompkins 1-6, 6-4, 6-0.