MIDLAND – Troy’s Steve Forman doesn’t say much, but his game speaks volumes.
The junior left-hander captured his first No. 1 singles title, winning the first three games against Bloomfield Hills’ Josh Mukherjee to set the tone in his 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 victory Saturday at the Midland Tennis Center.
“We’ve played a lot of times, and we’ve gone into tiebreakers,” Forman said. “I played so well in the first set and was able to hit my spots. I got up, 2-1, (in the second set) and was on serve and felt really good. I just kind of got a little tight and thought a little ahead, maybe. I had to refocus for the third set.It’s always been winning the big points, which I was able to do today.”
Forman had to overcome an early-season ankle injury that kept him out half of the season.
Striking balls low and hard and moving Mukherjee around the court, Forman banged shots from the baseline and attacked the short balls with the gusto of a champion.
Mukherjee won a heated semifinal over two-time state champion Alex Wen of Novi, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. Both players verbally sparred with each other during the match, which lasted almost 21/2 hours.
Bloomfield Hills and Ann Arbor Huron entered Saturday’s semifinal matches a point apart in the race for the team title.
Huron’s representation in more flights proved to be the difference, claiming the team title when the No. 1 doubles team of Chris Cho and Brenden Chen defeated Birmingham Brother Rice’s Josh Anschuetz and Travis Tucker, 7-5, 6-4.
Huron finished with 30 points, and Bloomfield Hills was second at 28.
“We got off to a slow start in Day 2, but the kids have really battled,” Huron coach Stefan Welch said. “We’re a tight team. We spend a lot of time together with team dinners and things like that.”
Andrew Zhang kept Bloomfield Hills in the team race by claiming the No. 2 singles title over freshman Luke Baylis of Clarkston, 6-1, 6-0.
“Going in as the first seed, I knew there was a lot of competition out here,” Zhang said. “I wanted it more this year. After a loss last year in the finals, it made me hungrier for a title. I tried to stay consistent until he gave me an attackable ball. Then you have to go for your shot.”
Freshman Sahil Deenadayalu, the top seed at No. 4 singles, defeated senior Brad Silverman, 6-3, 6-3, to keep Huron in the title hunt. Silverman was a runner-up his final two seasons.
“I think we were both cramping, but I managed to pull it out,” Deenadayalu said. “It was a tough match. It was tough conditions. I fought through it.I took some chances at the net.”
Bloomfield Hills’ Constantine Hemmrich defended his No. 3 singles title, 6-3, 6-2, over Owen Kelley of Huron.
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.
Boys tennis state finals
Top teams: 1. Midland, 35; 2. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, 25; 3. (tie) Okemos and Portage Central, 18; 5. (tie) Birmingham Groves and Birmingham Seaholm, 16; 7. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, 15; 8. (tie) U-D Jesuit and Grosse Pointe North, 12.
No. 1 singles: Varun Shanker, Midland Dow, def. Reed Crocker, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-6 (8)
No. 2: Cameron Raedy, Portage Central, def. Anish Middha, Midland Dow, 6-2, 7-5
No. 3: Tyler Conrad, Midland Dow, def. Daniel Gorelik, Okemos, 6-4, 6-2
No. 4: Deniz Kalfa, Okemos, def. Saketh Kamaraju, Midland Dow, 7-6 (4), 6-1
No. 1 doubles: Jj Kirkman and Aditya Middha, Midland Dow, def. Jack Williams and Ben Zacharia, Grosse Pointe North, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
No. 2: Aidan Rynbrandt and Jack Ziegler, GR Forest Hills Central, def. Sagar Kamaraju and Noah Nichols, Midland Dow, 6-4, 6-1
No. 3: Daniel Zhang and Gopal Parthasarathy, Midland Dow, def. Peyton Herbert and Mike Battiste, GR Forest Hills Central, 6-2, 6-3
No. 4: Charlie Michaud and Aerik Joe, Birmingham Groves, def. Ryan Killmaster and Jeroen Uesbeck, Midland Dow, 6-2, 7-5
At Kalamazoo College
Top teams: 1. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook, 34; 2. Birmingham Detroit Country Day, 24; 3. (tie) East Grand Rapids and St. Joseph, 20; 5. Ada Forest Hills Eastern, 18; 6. Allegan, 11; 7. (tie) Parma Western, St. Clair and Trenton, 10.
No. 1 singles: Benji Jacobson, BH Cranbrook, def. Ryan Rhoades, Holland Christian, 6-3, 6-4
No. 2: Ahmeir Kyle, St Joseph, def. Nik Gruskin, Detroit Country Day, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
No. 3: Will Page, St Joseph, def. Justin Luo, BH Cranbrook Kingswood, 6-1, 6-2
No. 4: Eric Wang, Detroit Country Day, def. Sohum Acharya, BH Cranbrook Kingswood, 6-2, 2-3 RET-INJ
No. 1 doubles: Michael Bian and Andrew Du, BH Cranbrook, def. Rick Warnicke and Ryan Murakawa, Detroit Country Day, 5-7, 6-1, 6-3
No. 2: Milind Rao and Kavon Rahmani, Detroit Country Day, def. Jacob Yellen and Joe Croskey, BH Cranbrook Kingswood, 7-5, 6-0
No. 3: Nate Thewes and Tommy Nardicchio, Detroit Country Day, def. Blake Fisher and Nikhil Deenadayalu, BH Cranbrook Kingswood, 6-4, 6-2
No. 4: Eshaan Kawlra and Jack Trees, BH Cranbrook, def. Prathik Chukkapalli and Nick Sicilia, Detroit Country Day, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4
At Holly and Fenton
Top teams: 1. Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett, 32; 2. Ann Arbor Greenhills, 30; 3. (tie) Traverse City St. Francis and Whitehall, 22; 5. (tie) Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Williamston, 15; 7. Flint Powers, 10; 8. Grand Rapids West Catholic, 8; 9. Lansing Catholic, 7.
No. 1 singles: Oliver Weaver, Williamston, def. Austin Koenes, GR NorthPointe Christian, 6-4, 6-1
No. 2: Ian Worthington, GR Catholic Central, def. Ian Sood, AA Gabriel Richard, 6-2, 7-6 (5)
No. 3: Oscar Hobaek, Whitehall, def. Sam Talsma, AA Greenhills, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
No. 4: Andrew Staricco, GPW University Liggett, def. Henry Branch, AA Greenhills, 6-2, 7-5
No. 1 doubles: Mitchell Gajar and Jack Harris, AA Greenhills, def. Thomas Van Pelt and Maddie Fozo, GPW University Liggett, 6-2, 7-6 (4)
No. 2: Alec Azar and Davey Sekhon, GPW University Liggett, def. Ryan Navin and Joe Primeau, Traverse City St Francis, 6-1, 6-4
No. 3: Spencer Warezak and Craig Buhler, GPW University Liggett, def. Sushruta Shankar and Trey Feldeisen, AA Greenhills, 6-3, 6-1
No. 4: Max Froehlich and Drake Rosenberg, AA Greenhills, def. Matthew Lesha and Victor Logan, GPW University Liggett, 6-0, 7-5