| By Adam Wolfthal
Photo credit: Adam Wolfthal

After three days of playing under the blazing sun at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center the 2013 NYSPHSAA Boys Tennis Championships came to a close on Saturday. In a battle of Westchester’s top seeds Shawn Hadavi of Dobbs Ferry won the Singles State Champinship defeating Taiyo Hamanaka of Eastchester in a close match over, 6-4, 7-5. On his way to the championship, Hadavi displaced Brandon Stone of Walt Whitman in the first round, Conor Dauer of Cold Spring Harbor in the quarterfinals and Justin Fields, PSAL Champion of Beacon High School in the semifinals. Fields defeated Tyler Hoffman of Sayville in the second round before having to face his Beacon teammate, Artemie Amari in the quarterfinals. Doug Notaris of Wantagh made the second round of the tournament after an impressive, straight set victory in the first round over Michael Perry of Seton Catholic, losing only one game in the match. Notaris was defeated by the tournaments fifth seed Matt Gamble of Webster Schroeder. Jon Selegean of Forest Hills faced Vihar Shah in the first round, losing 2-6, 3-6.

One of the quarterfinal matches was a showdown between two Long Islanders, the Nassau and Suffolk County champions, Vihar Shah of Herricks and Zain Ali of Half Hollow Hills East, both of whom won their respective county Sportsmanship Awards as well. After a hard fought first set that Ali won 7-5, he took control in the second set winning that one 6-0. In his semifinal match, Ali had trouble holding his serve and was forced to try and dominate from the baseline with overpowering ground strokes. That proved to be too tall a task though as he had trouble staying consistent against Hamanaka and fell in straight sets. Ali finished third in the tournament earning him All-State Honors. Next year, he will return as a senior in hopes of taking the next step.

In the doubles draw, Maxwell Smith & Lucas Pickering from Beacon High School in NYC found themselves in the match to determine the New York State Doubles champions once again, having been in the final in 2012 as well. Unfortunately they once again couldn't take that final step and fell in straight sets to Matt & Colin Nardella from Christian Brothers Academy, 6-4, 6-4. On the way to the final, Pickering & Smith had to overcome the Half Hollow Hills East team of Michael Leffler & Roger Chang in the second round and Yuval Soloman & Josh Young of Plainview-Old Bethpage in the quarterfinals. The Nardella Brothers took out another New York City team of Marcus Smith & Matt Balilo of Cardozo in the quarterfinals.

The match for fourth place saw the Nassau County Champions Conor Mullins & Jonathan Paris of Cold Spring Harbor facing the Suffolk County Champions from Half Hollow Hills East, Jeff Cherkin & Kyle Alper. Cherkin & Alper had already dismissed the second-seeded Nassau team of Addison Berniker & Henry Tell of Syosset in the first round. It was a hard fought match with great influence from the crowd, as both teams schools had a strong presence at the tournament. Mullins & Paris were able to pull out the match with a 6-3, 6-2 victory to secure fourth place and a spot on the All-State team.Brooklyn Tech’s Cole Gittens & William Trang came up against the eventual third place finishers Dylan Brittis-Tannenbaum & Nick Simon of Fox Lane in the second round, taking them to three sets, 4-6, 7-5, 3-6.

Zain Ali of Half Hollow Hills East (photo credit Kristina Hyland)


Zain Ali consults with Half Hollow Hills East Coach Tom Depelteau (photo credit Adam Wolfthal)


Conor Mullins & Jonathan Paris of Cold Spring Harbor congratulate each other on a victorious game (photo credit Adam Wolfthal)


Kyle Alper goes for an overhead winner (photo credit Adam Wolfthal)


Maxwell Smith & Lucas Pickering from Beacon High School relaxing between the semis and finals (photo credit Adam Wolfthal)


Maxwell Smith & Lucas Pickering from Beacon High School in their Championship Doubles Match against Matt & Colin Nardella from Christian Brothers Academy (photo credit Adam Wolfthal)


Lucas Pickering from Beacon High School lines up a winning volley (photo credit Adam Wolfthal)


Matt & Colin Nardella of Christian Brothers Academy, 2013 NY State Doubles Champions (photo credit Adam Wolfthal)

Adam Wolfthal

<p>Adam Wolfthal is the Director of Business Development for New York Tennis Magazine. Adam is a former Dowling College men's tennis player and author of the book, <em>Dudes Poetry Guide: With Girls in Mind</em>.</p>