CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- From the outside, Erica White's absence from the women's open singles field at the Charleston Public Courts tennis tournament may be giving the field a break.
After all, the all-time leader in women's open singles titles has won the championship each of the last seven times she's entered, taking 2008 off to play in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association circuit.
But. as she's quick to tell you, her decision not to enter the field was much more about giving herself a break.
White didn't completely abandon the tournament, however, as she and partner Scott Zent picked up a mixed open doubles semifinal win on Friday night, defeating Emily Bowlin and Tim Sylvester 6-3, 6-2. The match was moved to the Indoor Tennis Center and started 45 minutes late due to thunderstorms.
Zent and White will face Katherine Gillis and Eddie Harris at 4:30 p.m. today as the duo seeks its second straight title.
To White's credit, it was quite a busy year for the former George Washington standout.
She picked up Big South Conference player of the year honors as a No. 1 singles player last year in her senior season and combined with Jenny Lunde to earn the school's first ITA ranking, coming in at No. 90 in April in No. 1 doubles.
White went 18-3 overall and 9-1 as a singles player while she and Lunde went 16-3 in doubles.
Now with a full-time nursing job and real-world responsibilities, White said her goal is to relax and have fun on the court.
"I played college tennis and I ended really well there," White said. "I got player of the year there my senior year and my doubles partner and I got nationally ranked, and after that I was like, 'I'm done.' I just want to enjoy tennis now. In singles, I'm so competitive, it's fun, but you've got to train for it and you've got to be ready for it and I'm not there anymore."
Maybe not mentally, but her game sure doesn't seem to be lacking as evidenced by her and Zent's performance on Friday.