Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Much like they did when running though the Class 4A and 5A boys state tennis tournaments last year, Foster Rogers of Pulaski Academy and Christian Greer of Joe T. Robinson appear on a collision course for today's Class 4A championship match at the Burns Park Tennis Complex in North Little Rock.
In the first two rounds Monday, Rogers, who won the Class 5A championship in 2017, dispatched Brandon LeDuc of Prairie Grove and Jake Powell of Highland by identical 6-0, 6-0 scores. He will face Kevin Zhao of Magnolia in today's semifinals.
Greer, who won the 2017 Class 4A singles title, ousted Ethan Harrod of Hamburg 6-0, 6-0 in Monday's opening round and Winn Sams of Valley View in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-0. He will face Anthony Tran of Pulaski Academy in his semifinal match.
Greer said he was looking forward to his match against Tran, his third this year. Greer won the regular season and conference tournament matches.
"We played really good matches, but the scores didn't show that," Greer said. "He has a really good first serve. It's hard to beat a guy three times, but I'm really looking forward to it."
A victory in that match, puts him against Rogers again, a week after a 6-1, 6-2 loss in the conference tournament, but Greer will be ready if he reaches the final.
"I'll never go on the court thinking I'm gonna lose, I just try to hold serve," Greer said.
Both coaches, Mike Morrison of Robinson and Bill Topich of Pulaski Academy both said Rogers is the top player in Class 4A, especially after dropping down from Class 5A.
"It's obviously easy to be complacent after winning the Overall championship as a 10th grader," Topich said. "He's looking to win 4A then win the Overall again."
Morrison, who is in his second stint as a tennis coach after coaching the sport in the early 2000s, said Rogers is the best high tennis player he has seen.
"It's evident in the matches they've played this year," he said. "Christian will go through and do what he does, win 2-love 1-love, just takes care of business. Then he runs into Foster."
Rogers has rarely been challenged this year, winning most of his matches 6-0, 6-0.
"I think the only time he has lost games was in the conference finals against Christian Greer, 6-1, 6-2," Topich said. "And there is a good chance they will meet in the state finals."
"When Chris and him play, it's a lot more competitive than what he's had so far," Morrison said. "It's a good match regardless, but Rogers seems to just have his number.
"Everyone has someone like that but Foster is like that with everyone."
Topich said Rogers tried to get through with his two matches as fast as he could so he could get back to class.
"He has an opportunity to play for an elite college," Topich said. "He may be the best we've ever had at PA."
Sports on 10/09/2018
NWADG.com for only
$0.99 for the first month.