SHREWSBURY — The highly anticipated girls’ singles final at the Individual Tennis State Championships Saturday at St. John’s High School met expectations.
Two-time champion Emma Davis of Cohasset met Shrewsbury’s Jessica Perkins in a rematch of last year’s state final, won by Davis, 6-3, 6-3. After winning as a freshman as well, Davis was looking for the threepeat on Saturday.
Davis was up to the challenge, beating Perkins, 6-1, 6-3.
Davis dominated the first set by establishing her trademark dominant backhand and winning multiple points with her forehand drop shot.
However, Perkins, who has won the Central singles four years in a row, wasn’t ready to concede. She took an early 2-0 lead in the second set by keeping Davis away from her backhand and forcing errors with her nasty slice shot.
“I thought I played great in the first set, but Perkins is so mentally tough I knew that the second set wouldn’t be an easy one,” Davis said.
Davis was able to regain her focus and won four straight games as she got back to her powerful backhand as well as claiming six points with her drop shot, to go up, 4-2.
Perkins responded, scoring four straight points to cut the deficit to 4-3. She went up the next game, 40-15, and it seemed momentum might be shifting, but Davis came back to force a deuce and won the game, making it 5-3.
Davis fell behind, 40-15, in the next game as well, but showed her resilience again by battling back to force another deuce. Davis then laid down a beautiful drop shot to win the game, set, and match, 6-1, 6-3.
“It has truly gotten harder every single year, battling better competition,” Davis said. “My drop shot was definitely my favorite shot today, it seemed to work well and it compensated for my forehand, which wasn’t on point.”
In the boys’ singles final, junior Patrick Wyeth of Cape Cod Academy beat Westboro freshman Sumukh Pathi in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.
In a battle of sophomores, Sara Yang and Meredith Block of Concord-Carlisle defeated Washucett’s Olivia Durocher and Olivia Hart, 6-4, 6-0, to take home the girls’ doubles title.
In the boys’ doubles final, seniors Brian Kavanagh and Mike Knight of Minnechaug battled senior Connor Chin and Gideon Feifke of Lexington. The first set was a grueling match, with Chin and Feifke coming out on top, 6-4.
“In the first set we were trying to hit the ball hard right through them,” Chin said. “After talking to coach we came into the second set trying to look for the angles and expose their weak spots,” said Feifke
This strategy worked wonders as the Lexington duo cruised to a 6-0 win and a sweep of the match.