BROOMFIELD — Yannik James has had a brilliant run over the last 10 months on the tennis court. In his final season at the University of Denver, the native of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, who makes his current home on the island of Grenada, was named the Summit League Player of the Year, and recently the Mountain Region’s Most Improved Player.
On Friday night at the Broomfield Swim and Tennis Club, the recently graduated Pioneer added the Broomfield Open championship to his list of accomplishments.
In an epic three-set final against reigning Class 5A high school champion Ethan Hillis of Cherry Creek High School, James prevailed 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (14).
“Never had one go that deep into a tiebreak,” said James, who fought off three match points in the third set tiebreaker. “This is a good win and it feels good to come out on top.”
James, who beat Hillis in last year’s Denver City Open in three sets, looked early on like he might run away with the match after jumping out to a 4-1 lead in the first set.
But Hillis, who dominated the high school scene in the fall and has played well throughout the winter and into the summer, rallied to win the second and force a deciding third set.
PHOTO -: Yannik James returns the ball while playing Ethan Hillis during the Broomfield Open Tennis Tournament men’s finals match on Friday at the Broomfield Swim and Tennis Club. (Jeremy Papasso / staff photographer)