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John Burton wins USTA Virginia State Men’s 75 Clay Court Championships

John Burton is a perfect three-for three when it comes to singles tennis.

Playing in his third tournament of the summer, the South Boston resident won the USTA Virginia State Men’s 75 Clay Court Championships tennis tournament played last Monday through Wednesday at Roanoke Country Club.

Burton had a tough road to the championship, first having to play and win in Monday’s qualifying round in order to move up into the championship bracket.

Burton defeated Arturo Ybanez in straight sets 6-0, 6-0 in Monday’s qualifying round to advance to the semi-finals. It was in the semi-finals that Burton faced his toughest contest.

Facing John Manougian, one of the state’s top players, Burton lost the opening set 2-6. However, he bounced back to edge Manougian in two straight sets by scores of 7-5, 6-4 to win the grueling three hour and 15 minute match and advance to Wednesday’s championship round.

In Wednesday’s championship round, Burton defeated top-seeded Santiago Benites in straight sets by scores of 6-4, 6-2 to win the championship. 

“The semi-final match was the toughest match,” Burton remarked.

“It was a tough tournament win. The players I competed against are the top players in the state.”

Burton began his summer run on the tennis courts by winning the singles championship in his age division in The Commonwealth Games. Prior to competing in the USTA state tournament, he competed in the 35th Annual Roxboro Invitational Tennis Tournament held at Person (N.C.) High School and the Huck Sansbury Recreation Complex.

Competing in the 50 & Over age division, Burton won a pair of straight-set matches, defeating Harold Kelly 6-3, 6-0 in his first contest in the round-robin tournament and edged Bill Gentry 6-0, 6-1 to win championship. 

Burton will be gunning for a fourth major tennis title in October when he travels to Williamsburg to compete in the USTA Mid-Atlantic Championships, a tournament that annually draws the best tennis players in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

The South Boston resident has competed in that tournament on two previous occasions and won the championship in his age division both times.