Jun. 11—Tanin Ramnath of La Cueva and Philip Bosin of Eldorado were on court so long Thursday afternoon, they outlasted most of the doubles matches that started 90 minutes after they began.
But after a marathon showdown that lasted nearly four hours in the brutal June heat, Ramnath had outlasted Bosin in three tense, grueling sets in the semifinals of the Class 5A boys state tennis tournament at Albuquerque Academy.
The third-seeded Ramnath, who prevailed 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), will face No. 1 seed and two-time defending 5A state champion Georgio Samaha of Eldorado at 2 p.m. Saturday in the final.
Ramnath trailed Bosin 5-2 in both the second and third sets, and trailed 4-2 in both tiebreaks.
"I wasn't really feeling it much," said Ramnath, a junior. "I was trying to do whatever I could to stay in the point."
His shot selection and defense got him through, as he mixed in slice backhands, drop shots and a few lobs that had Bosin frustrated. And Ramnath won most of the key points at the end of the final two sets.
"I wasn't feeling my normal game," he said, "so I had to pull out some other stuff."
The quarterfinals and semifinals were played Thursday in both singles and doubles, for Classes 1A-4A and 5A. The doubles finals are noon Saturday, followed by singles at about 2 p.m., all at the Academy.
Samaha, seeded No. 1, dropped only four games in his two match victories to advance to Saturday.
On the girls side, a pair of La Cueva freshmen, top-seeded Cameron King and third-seeded Stephanie Romero, won two matches Thursday to set up a youthful 5A singles final.
The unbeaten King lost only three games in her two victories. Romero, after dropping the second set at love against Rio Rancho's second-seeded Kate Segal in the semis, rallied and took the third set, 6-2.
"I was trying to get my energy back and not miss as much and be more consistent," Romero said. "I think I lost energy (in the second set)."
The 5A boys doubles final features second-seeded Andrew Miller and Clayton Bluth of Carlsbad against La Cueva's top-seeded duo of Alex Lumanog and Ryan Holloway. The 5A girls doubles final is No. 1 Anna Briones and Shantel Simmons of Farmington and No. 3 Grace Chang and Alexi Stiles of Centennial.
CLASS 1A-4A: The boys singles draw has No. 1 Owen Dooley of Los Alamos and No. 2 Josph Braun of Academy set to collide on Saturday.
Braun had to go three sets in his semi with third-seeded Luciano Silveria of Hope Christian before winning, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
"I think I really just started working the points, not missing as much, moving him more," said Braun, a freshman. "I dug in and said, 'I'm not gonna miss it.' "
No. 1 seed Isabel Voinescu of Santa Fe Prep and third-seeded Kate McDonald of Los Alamos came through the girls singles draw. McDonald upset No. 2 Ava Badger of Academy, 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the semifinals.
The top-seeded Dils brothers from Academy, Tanner and Connor, face No. 2 Wade McDermott and Evan Bloodworth of St. Michael's in the doubles finals.
The 1A-4A girls doubles final is top-seeded Mariela Rigales and Hannah Garcia of St. Mike's against second-seeded Riley Cordova and Isabella Jaramillo of Belen. Cordova and Jaramillo rallied from a set down in their semifinal.
(Click here for individual brackets.)