Webster Schroeder Junior Matt Gamble won his second consecutive singles title at the 2015 NYSPHSAA/NYSFSSAA Boys Tennis Championships on Saturday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center defeating Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK's Yuval Solomon 6-3, 6-1.
"I think I played my best match of the tournament today," said Gamble. "I felt like this one was one of my best serving matches and that I was hitting my forehands really well. I felt in control the whole time out there."
In control was an understatement as Gamble got out to a 4-1 lead in the first set by using his powerful forehand to work Solomon back and forth on the court. He kept the sophomore from Plainview JFK on the defensive the whole match using a combination of power and placement and hitting key volleys at opportune times.
"He is a solid player. I think he had a little too much power for me," said Solomon, who was ranked third in the tournament. "I thought I played the first set pretty well against him, but overall, I needed to be more consistent."
Solomon, who won the Nassau County Singles Title earlier this month, said that he will work hard to get back to the NYSPHSAA/NYSFSSAA Championship in 2016.
In the doubles finals match, Hope & Courage Crawford of Mamaroneck High School defeated Cold Spring Harbor's Sean Mullins & Patrick Hannity 7-5 6-3.
Serving was an issue for both sides, as there were multiple breaks throughout the match. In the first set, momentum shifted back-and-forth as the Crawford Brothers went up 5-3, but Mullins & Hannity rebounded to even the set at 5-5. After holding to go up 6-5, the Crawfords were able to secure their third break of the set to take the set 7-5.
In the second set, the teams held serve for the first three games, giving the Crawfords a 2-1 lead. In the fourth game, the first break of the set was secured and the Crawfords took a 3-1 lead. From there, they stayed in the lead, and up 5-3, tried to serve it out. Mullins & Hannity fought off three match points in the final game showing the heart they exemplified throughout the tournament, but the Crawfords were not to be denied, and on match point number four, they closed out the win.
Cold Spring Harbor Junior Sean Mullins said that serving and communication was an issue for him and his partner.
"I did not think we were serving great today … we were both a little off," said Mullins. "Also, our communication was not as good as it could have been, particularly at the net."
Hannity, a sophomore at CSH, credited the Crawford Brothers for a well-played match, but wished his serve was a little more on point.
"I had chances on my serve, but at key points, I felt like I did not serve as well as I could have," said Hannity.
The Crawfords also had their issues with serving early on in the match.
"Serving was a big issue, especially in the first game of the match," said Courage, who is a freshman at Mamaroneck. "We dropped that game, but after that, we had hold after hold."
Courage also said he and his brother kept their composure throughout the match and didn't get mad at each other and supported each other throughout.
"We've had times where we'd start fighting with each other and we start losing our focus on the match,” said Courage. “But today, we didn't get mad at each other and had each other's back the entire time."
►Click here to view the final boy's singles draw.
►Click here to view the final boy's doubles draw.
Trevor Mitchel also contributed to writing this article.
Credit photos to Brian Coleman
Jericho's Brady Berman during his round one victory over Ithica's Justin Milner
Northport's Cannon Kingsley during the 2015 NYSPHSAA Boy's Singles Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Suffolk County Doubles Champs Dylan Davis & Duane Davis from Half Hollow Hills West celebrate during their opening round win over Brighton's Joshua Marvald & Ryan Gao
Plainview JFK's Yuval Solomon, 2015 Nassau County Singles champ, was runner-up at the 2015 NYSPHSAA/NYSFSSAA Singles Championship
Shorehan Wading River's Christopher Kuhnle was a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Highland's Darshan Rammohan in the opening round
Evan Nierman of Half Hollow Hills West during opening doubles action
Keegan Morris of Sewanhaka during opening round action against Scarsdale's Jonathan Dorf
Cold Spring Harbor's Sean Mullins & Patrick Hannity en route to their opening round win over Guilderland's Michael Zhu & Bill Dong
<p> Gary Simeone is writing intern/public relations associate for <em>Long Island Tennis Magazine</em>.</p>