Original article by Bill Kemp, The Ledger
Anay Patel ran into a buzz saw during his first round match at the state tennis tournament.
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — Anay Patel ran into a buzz saw during his first-round match at the state tennis tournament.
The All Saints Academy sophomore fell to Land O’ Lakes Academy at the Lakes sophomore Dion Loutas 6-0, 6-1 on Monday at the FHSAA Class 1A boys individual bracketed tournament. Loutas is ranked 16th in the state and 142nd in the nation by Tennisrecruiting.net.
“He had massive forehand, and I was just trying to play consistent,” Patel said. “I was trying to finish points and play aggressive, but his massive forehand was huge.”
In the second set, Patel was anything but discouraged. He rose his play level and took several games to break point after figuring out how to defend Loutas’ forehand.
“The second set score wasn’t really an indication of the game,” All Saints coach William May said. “He had opportunities to be up 3-1 or 4-1. He had multiple game points. It is a great sign. I think it was a great learning experience for him to step up and capitalize on the points he needs to.
“This level of play is the best in Florida. Anay came into it with experience. But he is young and so he will continue to improve.”
Loutas (8-0) played just the minimum four district matches this year in order to qualify for the postseason and then went 3-0 in the District 7 tournament to claim the championship and qualify for state. He was making his first trip to the state finals.