While no area teams advanced players to the championship draw of the IHSA boys tennis state tournament on Thursday, several athletes will be competing in the consolation bracket when play resumes on Friday.
Batavia’s doubles team of Adam Maris and Ryan Sterling got off to a great start with wins over Vernon Hills’ David Dobrik and Nikita Lunkov 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 and Lockport’s Mike Hasler and Pat Piwoni 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-1.
Unfortunately they couldn’t manage a win in the third round, falling to Edwardsville’s Jack Desse and Logan Ware 6-4, 6-2.
“We just played two three-setters so we were a little tired,” Sterling said. “There were no expectations for us to beat the [3-4] seed. We just tried to serve cleanly and put it all on the court. We had no expectations so it helped us to not be nervous.”
“[The three-setters] were kind of tiring,” Maris added. “The sun was out and it is close to summer, but for me it was more about mental energy. It was mental fatigue kicking in that hurt us in the third match.”
Despite being drained, they put up a nice fight against one of the top doubles teams in the state.
“I think we ended up playing a pretty good match,” Sterling said. “They broke my serve in the first game but we rallied back and won every serve. It was just that break that cost us.”
The duo will head to the consolation bracket to start Friday and will face Downers North’s Mantas Kisielius and Chandler Downs, at Prospect.
Maris and Sterling (34-5) are looking to avenge an early season 7-6 (5), 6-2 loss to the Trojans’ duo.
“The first time we played them we were up and should have closed out the set,” Sterling said. “But it was the beginning of the season. I think now that me and Adam are playing together longer, we have a better chance at closing out games.”
Waubonsie Valley freshman Suveer Kothuri opened the tournament with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Normal U. High’s Alex Totten before falling to Lemont’s Nick Urban in the second round by a score of 6-1, 6-2.
Kothuri was able to rebound after the tough loss by picking up a pair of wins in the backdraw. He defeated Jacobs’ Kendrick Chong 6-3, 6-1 and St. Ignatius’s Crofton Kelly 6-0, 6-2.
Up next for Kothuri will be Stevenson’s Benjamin Bush, at Rolling Meadows.
Geneva’s Ryan Doeckel and John Potts are also in the consolation bracket after going 3-1 on Thursday.
Doeckel and Potts opened the tournament with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 win over O’Fallon’s Nikhil Shekar and Shree Patel before falling to Hinsdale South’s Greg Murray and Rohin Chinwalla 6-3, 6-1 in the second round.
Doeckel and Potts were able to bounce back, picking up backdraw wins over Andrew’s Austin Wabi and Alan Wang 6-3, 6-3 as well as York’s Jake Shostak and Spencer Kost 6-4, 6-1.
They’ll face Barrington’s Ishaan Jaglan and Scott Apmann, at Palatine on Friday.