May 1, 2005
TUCSON - Chaparral’s Chris Tenev was so good in Saturday’s 4A singles finals that it made his opponent, Tucson Catalina Foothills’ Tom Wolff, sick.
Well, not exactly. Wolff withdrew from the final match at Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club as waves of cramps and nausea racked his body following an exhausting semifinal match.
Tenev was ahead 6-3, 2-1 when Wolff retired midway through the second set, giving the Firebirds’ ace his second state title in as many years.
Tenev shared a 4A doubles title last season.
"I would have rather won it the other way, for sure," said Tenev, a senior bound for Northern Arizona. "But what are you going to do? It happens."
Tenev sympathized with his opponent during the final match but was hardly charitable. Tenev’s well-placed ground strokes and drop shots forced an exhausted Wolff to run around throughout the first set, which Tenev won easily.
When things didn’t get any easier in the second set, Wolff — who had played a three-set marathon against Tucson Rincon’s Kyle Anderson — called it quits.
"I decided enough was enough," he said.
While Saturday marked the end of Tenev’s high school career, it also signalled the passing of the torch in girls singles play.
Notre Dame Prep freshman Courtney Byron played Tucson Ironwood Ridge’s Torrie Browning tough before falling 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 in the finals.
Byron said Saturday’s showing was encouraging considering Browning, a senior, entered the match as the defending state champ.
"Losing is always hard, but she played really well. There was nothing I could do against her," Byron said. "I think she had more experience than me, but as a freshman, I had nothing to lose."
In the boys doubles final, Catalina Foothills’ Joe Goldstein and Tyler Campbell edged teammates Taylor Allin and Biafra Ahanonou 6-4, 6-3. Rincon’s Alex Miller and Victoria Bravo took the girls doubles title over Catalina Foothills’ Tara Raghavan and Anya Dalkin, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
The team portion of the state tournament will continue Monday at Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club.