Simon Caldwell was the top seed at No. 1 Singles in the MHSAA Lower Penninsula Division 4 Boys Tennis Finals, but he had to survive a three-set Semifinal nailbiter before clinching the title with a two-set Finals victory.
Caldwell, who is just a freshman at Grand Rapids West Catholic, qualified individually when his team did not make it…
In a Semifinals match that lasted 2 1/2 hours with numerous long rallies, Caldwell defeated junior Daniel Pero, the No. 4 seed from Brooklyn Columbia Central, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
In the Final Caldwell bested the second seed, Liggett junior Sebastian Courtright, 6-3, 6-0.
“Both of those guys are great players and I played really well in both (matches),” Caldwell said.
Leading 4-1 in the third Semifinal set, Caldwell started cramping. He lost two match points at 5-3, then started serving underhand.
Once he won the match, fans, crammed in the stands, gave him a standing ovation.
“It happens to the best of us,” the freshman said of cramping. “Daniel is a great player and started to come back on me. Anyone could have won that match.
“I just happened to pull through at the end.”
Courtright, who also played at No. 1 Singles last year, said his rival played a good match.
“I think he was ultimately more consistent and more experienced.”