Looking for his first Nassau County Championship, top-seeded Vihar Shah of Herricks High School was up 6-2, 4-1 against Cold Spring Harbor's Conor Dauer, the second seed, at the 2013 Nassau County boy's tennis finals at Oceanside High School on Saturday when his nerves took over. Dauer was able to break Shah to get within 2-4 and put some pressure on him.
"I started to get nervous when I lost the break," said the 6'5" Shah. "I changed my strategy a little, using more slice and mixing it my shots up a bit. I told myself to just take it one point at a time."
Shah went even as far as to change his racquet, switching to his old Federer frame to try and regain his composure. His strategy worked, as he was able to break Dauer the next game and then serve out the match, winning his first ever Nassau County title, 6-2, 6-3.
"I worked really hard these past four years trying to get to this point. My goal this year was to win Counties and make a deep run when I get to States," said Shah.
Neither Shah nor Dauer faced much resistance in setting up their finals showdown. In the semifinals, Shah defeated Wantagh's Doug Notaris 6-2, 6-0, while Dauer defeated Port Washington's Ben Rosen, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the finals.
In the doubles finals, the top-seeded team of JP Paris & Conor Mullins from Cold Spring Harbor left no doubt as to who the best team was as they didn't drop a game in defeating Syosset's Henry Tell & Addison Berniker 6-0, 6-0.
"We started strong and never let up," said Mullins. "We told each other we were not going to ease up on them throughout the entire match."
Paris added, "I made sure to try and get my first serve in and stay positive the whole match, I thought we both played well at net and kept the pressure on them which was our game plan."
In the consolation matches, Notaris defeated Rosen in three sets, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, and in doubles, Plainview-JFK's Josh Young & Yuval Solomon defeated Roslyn's Brett Edelblum & Alec Goldberg 6-1, 6-1.
The top three finishers in both singles and doubles advance to the New York State Championships to be played May 30-June 1st at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Credit all photos to Gary Simeone
Vihar Shah of Herricks High School en route to his 6-2, 6-3 win and the 2013 Nassau County Boys Championship
JP Paris & Conor Mullins from Cold Spring Harbor, 2013 Nassau County Boys Doubles champs
Bound for the 2013 NY State Championships, the doubles teams of JP Paris & Conor Mullins from Cold Spring Harbor, Syosset's Henry Tell & Addison Berniker, and Plainview-JFK's Josh Young & Yuval Solomon
<p> Gary Simeone is writing intern/public relations associate for <em>Long Island Tennis Magazine</em>.</p>