Like last season, the Greenwich-Darien boys tennis match was tied with Dylan Atkinson playing at No. 1 singles for the Cardinals in the deciding matchup.
And just like last season, Atkinson was victorious, giving Greenwich a key midseason win over one of its main conference rivals.
In a match involving undefeated squads, Greenwich kept its perfect record intact, pulling out a hard-fought 4-3 win over visiting Darien.
With the intense victory, Greenwich ran its record to 8-0, while Darien sports a 7-1 mark. As was the case in 2022, all eyes were on Atkinson’s match at the No. 1 singles spot with the match evened up at 3-3.
Atkinson played Darien senior Teddy Callery, in a match featuring premier single players in the conference and state. A 7-5, 6-3 victory by Atkinson clinched the Cardinals’ 4-3 triumph. Immediately after Atkinson took the match’s final point, he was enthusiastically greeted by his Cardinals teammates.
Greenwich’s No. 1 singles player picked up the pace late in the first set.
“I started super slow, I got down a break at love first game of the match,” Atkinson said. “I stayed down a break, I wasn’t serving well at all and then down 5-4, he’s serving for the first set and I turned it on from the return.”
“I felt really good after that,” Atkinson continued. “I felt that I found my form after nine games. The first set was a tough last few games, but I eventually closed it out, which gave me a lot of confidence for the second.”
The second set saw Atkinson hold off Darien’s impressive No. 1 player, Callery, who made a charge toward the end of the set.
“Obviously, the second, I played super strong,” Atkinson noted. “The second set I started super strong, I played one of the best sets I played all year – probably the best. I was coming in closing and playing well. Last year, same thing, we clinched it at 4-3. It got tight, he brought it back to 5-3 and was playing well. Then, at 5-3, I went big on my serves and I really focused hard to close it out.”
The Blue Wave held the advantage in singles competition, winning three of the four matches. The Cardinals, meanwhile, got the better of the Blue Wave in doubles action, sweeping the three matches.
The host Cardinals’ experienced duo of seniors Cai Jain and Nick O’Brien posted a 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory at No. 1 doubles over Aidan White/Ritnik Melwani.
“We definitely felt good, this was some of the best tennis we’ve played,” Jain said. “The first set, we were up 5-3 and they came back a little bit, but we won the breaker. The second set, thing went smoothly and I think we both played some of the best tennis we’ve ever played.”
Greenwich’s top doubles duo, which has come up clutch for several seasons, had been gearing up for their match versus Darien.
“It feels good, we had a few weeks at the beginning to warm up,” O’Brien said. “This was the biggest match of the season, so there was a lot to look forward to. I think we showed up and played well.”
Experience is an asset for the Cards’ No. 1 doubles team, which has played in numerous significant regular-season and FCIAC/state postseason matches during their three years together on the court.
“Nick and I have played as a doubles team since sophomore year,” Jain noted. “Our communication is great and we definitely know how to move around the court with each other. So, it’s a big element.”
Also earning key victories for Greenwich in doubles competition for GHS were junior Harrison Wolfe and sophomore Rohan Mittal at No. 2 and sophomore Alexander Salib and junior Bruce Lunder at the third spot.
Wolfe/Mittal were victorious against Darien’s Oscar Barton/Rowan Bepler, 6-2, 6-0. They dictated the points throughout the No. 2 doubles match, continuing their fine season.
Third doubles saw Salib/Lunder post a 6-2, 6-1 win over Spencer Wang/Dallas White of the Blue Wave.
In singles play, Darien senior Sam Donnelly notched a 6-0, 6-1 win over GHS freshman Volodymyr Dombrovoskyi at No. 2. Kyle Patrick, a senior, was a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Greenwich senior David Karetsky at the No. 3 singles spot. At fourth singles, Darien received a win from Will Donnelly, a junior, who was victorious against Cardinals sophomore Manuel Galli Specos, 6-1, 6-1.
Greenwich will now look to keep its perfect season going when it travels to Ridgefield on Thursday for another key FCIAC matchup. The Cardinals are currently in first place in the FCIAC standings.
Categories: Greenwich High, Spring sports
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