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The Comeback Team

Boxx_Guthrie_n.jpgFormer Ole Miss women's tennis All-Americans Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie won their second doubles title together Sunday, and they gave the patrons their money's worth, winning a third-set supertiebreaker to clinch the inaugural ButlerCars.com Tennis Classic in Macon, Ga. They defeated Emily Harman and Elizabeth Lumpkin of the United States for the win. 

Boxx and Guthrie almost didn't make it to the final.  They were down a set and 5-1 in the semifinals, but rallied to win that match 13-11 in the third set supertiebreaker.  Falling behind on Sunday was no big deal.

After Harman and Lumpkin won the first set 6-3, they broke right away in the second to go up 2-0, but Boxx and Guthrie fought back.  Both Harman and Lumpkin served for the title, but each time, Boxx and Guthrie broke to extend the match to a tiebreaker.  They won the second set breaker 7-6(4) and then jumped out to an early lead in the third set breaker going on to win it 10-4 for their second victory.

"We had a great tournament, it feels awesome to get a title after a couple of finals," Boxx said. "Abby and I played tough throughout the week, when we got down in matches we fought our way back and didn't give up." 

Doubles is all about chemistry and familiarity, and Boxx and Guthrie have both, after playing together for two years at Ole Miss before taking their game to the pro circuit.

"When we got down, we just kept telling each other to have fun and keep battling, and that seemed to work for us," Guthrie said. "I think it probably helps us that we played a lot of doubles together at Ole Miss, and many of the teams we play against don't have a regular partner. We both feel like we know each other's every move."

Sunday's win marked their second title of the year and first stateside.  Back in July, the duo captured their first pro doubles title in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. 

At Ole Miss, Boxx and Guthrie teamed up for a top-10 ranking and led the Rebels to an SEC West title and four NCAA appearances, including the Sweet Sixteen in 2010.  

Next up for the duo is another $25,000 tournament, the Rocks Open in Rock Hills, S.C.  "We're playing well, and we are both looking forward to this upcoming week," Boxx said.

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A Winning Combination

Thumbnail image for Boxx_Guthrie_Egypt.jpgA little over a year since they teamed up to post a final collegiate tennis ranking of No.6 in the nation, Rebel alums Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie secured their first pro title as a duo, winning the F26 Futures title in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt Saturday at the Jolie Ville Golf Resort on the coast.  The All-American duo entered the field as the No. 2 seed, and defeated the top seeded team of Anna Morgina (Russia) and Naomi Totka (Hungary) 6-1, 6-2, for the title.  Boxx and Guthrie were quite familiar with one half of their opponent, as Morgina played collegiate tennis at the University of South Carolina.

Boxx and Guthrie advanced to the final with a come from behind win in the semifinals.  After dropping the first set 7-5, to the unseeded pair from Greece and France, respectively, Boxx and Guthrie won a second set tiebreak 7-6(5) before wrapping up the match 10-3 in the final set.  That would be the only trouble the Reb duo faced the entire week, as they only dropped 12 games total in winning the other matches in straight sets.

Boxx and Guthrie will continue their stay in Egypt, playing another Futures event at the same site next week.  Current Rebel Mai El Kamash, who hails from Cairo, watched her fellow Rebels from the stands this week.  She has competed in singles and doubles of several prior Futures at this resort, but took the week off. 

A two-time All American in both singles and doubles for the Rebels, Boxx became the second player in Ole Miss history to achieve 200 wins combined in singles and doubles and became the second player in program history to earn All-SEC first team honors all four years.  

Guthrie also helped lead the Rebels to four straight NCAA tournament appearances.  She finished her senior year ranked No. 15 in the Southern Region in singles, while earning All-SEC honors.

Boxx graduated from Ole Miss in 2012, and Guthrie finished up her degree this past spring while also serving as a student assistant for the Rebels.






Boxx Delivers More Than Tennis

Former Rebel and two-time All-American, Kristi Boxx, is blessed with a great family, friends and the talent that led her to become one of the top players in the history of Ole Miss women's tennis.  The Grenada, Miss., native recently wrapped up an outstanding career, becoming just the second player in the history of the program to achieve 200 wins combined in both singles and doubles. 

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For Boxx, life is about more than tennis.  It's important to her to give back what she's been given, and for her that means helping others less fortunate.  This summer Boxx spent time in Corumba, a very small town on the border of Bolivia and Brazil.

"It's considered a small city, but it's still over a million in population," said Boxx, who traveled there for the third time in as many years.  "It's very bare there.  Some just have what they need, and a lot don't have any running water."

Boxx traveled to the small town via an organization called Grace International Miracle (GIM) Ministries.  She got involved through a family in Oxford, and it just so happens her two roommates are from Brazil.

"They've been going to the same area for 20-plus years, and they have built at least five churches in this area," Boxx said.  "Every time we go back we work with a different church. I've been to different places each time I've gone and met different people."

Among the things they did this time, Boxx said they set up medical care in an old building and offered the message of God while people waited to see a doctor.

"There were four rooms in this building. In the front room they created a triage where the patients waited, and before seeing the doctor, they would go through evangelism," she said.  "Everyone that came got a Bible, and they would hear the gospel. We had eyeglasses too, because a lot of them can't afford glasses.  To sit there and watch them open the glasses and look at the Bible and be able to read it, it was so cool."

While the women taught Bible study, Boxx said some of the guys worked on building a missionary farm. The plan is to have dorms on the land where they can take people off the streets and teach them a skill so they can eventually leave the farm and go make a living.

Boxx has also done mission work in West Africa before and on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona, which she described as like a third-world country.

"A lot of them didn't speak English, and they didn't have paved roads, and the houses were very small. It was very eye-opening," Boxx said.   

"I feel like everyone needs to go on some kind of international mission trip just to get a different perspective, because here we see the same thing all the time, and it's what's normal, but not everyone lives like us. Compared to the rest of the world we live like kings and queens, and so I'm very thankful that I've gotten to go.  Now I appreciate things more."

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It's been a whirlwind summer for Boxx, who recently got engaged.  She is spending time in Oxford this semester working out with the team and training for the pro circuit.  Later this fall, Boxx plans to compete in some tournaments in doubles with another native Mississippian, Keri Wong, who earned All-America honors at Clemson.

Boxx says she plans to try and continue her mission work whenever possible.

"Life in and of itself should be a mission trip. It shouldn't be, you go on a mission trip and then you come back and go about your normal life," she said.  "My life in general is like tennis, I'm playing for the Lord and not for myself.  Whenever I have the opportunity to go and serve, if I can make it happen, then I'm going to do it."        

      

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