Freshman Charlie Adams of the Blake School was comforted by teammates after losing a singles match that gave Breck a 4-3 victory in the Class 1A semifinals Wednesday morning at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Photo by Richard Sennott
Defending champion Breck, on the strength of a dramatic victory at No. 1 singles by Myles Tang, ousted arch-rival Blake 4-3 in the Class 1A semifinals of the boys’ tennis state tournament at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
The deciding match came down to a duel between Blake freshman Charlie Adams and Tang, the 2011 singles champ.
Adams, the No. 3-ranked player in Class 1A, attacked from the outset, forcing the No. 1-ranked Tang into frequent unforced errors en route to a 6-3 first-set victory.
“I didn’t expect him to play that well,” Tang said. “It took awhile to figure out how to respond.”
Tang played a much stronger second set, winning 6-0, setting up a third set with a berth in the championship match on the line.
Tang won the first game of the third set when Adams, who had won a grueling match in Tuesday’s quarterfinals, began to suffer from severe cramps. He was nearly forced to concede after collapsing on the court while chasing a ball in the third game.
Adams endured, thanks to two medical breaks to receive treatment from the on-site trainer and frequent attention from Blake coach Ted Warner.
Determined not only to finish but to win, Adams battled Tang through the remainder of the set. His defensive style nearly worked. Tang was never able to establish more than a two-game lead, but that was enough for a 6-4 final-set victory.
His win sends Breck to Wednesday’s team championship against Rochester Lourdes, which defeatedMound-Westonka 7-0. The match is scheduled for 4 p.m.
“It was hard to keep playing the way I needed to play after I saw him go down,” Tang said. “I let up and I shouldn’t have. But he played great. Better than I thought he would.”
After the match Adams, icebags scattered across his body, was despondent over the loss despite earning the praise and admiration of the spectators for his effort.
“My legs were cramping, my butt was cramping, my wrists,” Adams said. I just feel like I let the team down.”
His coach said clearly that wasn’t the case. “We’re all proud of him,'' Warner said. "He battled.”