EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville High School tennis player Colton Hulme had a successful run in the boys' 18-and-under singles in the Tiger Tennis Classic, played over the weekend at the Edwardsville Tennis Center, advancing to the final before losing to R.J. Miksell of Fairview Heights 6-3, 6-4.

Hulme felt that he played well throughout the weekend, and had a very solid effort throughout the bracket.

"Honestly, I think I did pretty good," Hulme said in an interview following the final against Miksell. "It was a really solid weekend for both days. I also think I played pretty good tennis over this week."

Hulme had a successful run in the IHSA Class 2A state meet the weekend before in northwest suburban Chicago, advancing to the fifth round of the consolation bracket and going 3-2 for the weekend. It helped prepare his mindset for the Tiger Classic.

"Since our season's done, I just wanted to prepare for USTA tournaments," Hulme said, "and like just get that mindset and go play tournaments. I had a bye in the first round, so that boosted me up a little bit, and I just kept winning my matches and just led me to the final. So yeah, I'm pretty impressed and that very glad that I'm here."

Hulme's opponent in the final was Miksell, who plays for Belleville East. The two have developed a friendly rivalry and Hulme praised Miksell very highly.

"Me and R.J. have, like, I guess, a rivalry right now," Hulme said with a smile and laugh. "But yeah, big shout out to him, because he played his butt off, like, he was playing really well. He deserved to win today, but I played good, he played good, but it just wasn't enough today."

Hulme's mindset coming into the summer season is very simple.

"Mindset is just to play solid tennis in the first round," Hulme said, "because that first round is always the important round."

As far as goals for the summer season, Hulme has also kept them simple.

"Try to be as high-ranked as I can in the USTA rankings," Hulme said. "And just try to win some more tournaments, if possible, or second place in tournaments."

Hulme is also looking forward to seeing the Edwardsville Futures, which returns after a one-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be celebrating its 10th anniversary during the tournament, set for July 19-25 at the Edwardsville Tennis Center.

"I won't play the wild card, though," Hulme said. "I'll be out-of-town. But yeah, I'm excited to watch the Futures tournament. That'll be really fun."

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