The reputation of Blake freshman Charlie Adams spiked Thursday, one day after he battled through severe cramps in a three-set loss to defending champion Myles Tang in the Class 1A team semifinals.
Adams collapsed on the court during the third set of the match and needed repeated medical attention before a rallying to put a scare into Tang. On Thursday, in between singles matches at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis, Adams said his gutsy effort had earned him numerous fans and admirers.
"People I didn't even know were coming up to me and congratulating me," he said. "Everyone was telling me how proud they were."
Determined to avoid a repeat in the singles tournament, where he has a legitimate shot to unseat Tang, Adams spent Wednesday night taking "two ice baths, about 25 minutes each, three hours apart," Adam said. "I've been drinking pickle juice and coconut water. I feel a lot better."
It showed on court, where he won his first two matches in straight sets to advance to Friday's Class 1A semifinals. His opponent? None other than Tang, who also cruised through his first two matches.
"I want another shot at him," Adams said.
The other Class 1A bracket pits Holy Family senior Connor Oberle, who is 24-1, against Logan Engelstad of Thief River Falls, the only public school player left in the singles field.Class 2A
At age 16, Edina sophomore Max Olson is already a dinosaur. The 6-4 Olson is a serve-and-volley specialist, a diminishing art in youth tennis. With a serve that kicks high and a long reach that allows for greater court coverage, Olson's style can baffle opponents, most of whom "don't see serve-and-volley much," said Edina coach Gary Aasen. "It throws them off."
Olson had few problems advancing to the Class 2A semifinals, beating Eric Rustad of Rochester Mayo and Burke Anderson of Centennial in straight sets.
"Most guys play to their strengths, and I've always been pretty strong at the net," Olson said.
Olson will play Scott Elsaas of Eden Prairie in one of Friday's Class 2A semifinals. Elsaas, a senior who has missed much of the last three seasons because of shoulder and knee injuries, said he feels better than anticipated.
"Usually, my knee might be a little sore right now, but it feels great," he said.
The other semifinal will feature Rochester Mayo's counterpunching specialist Thomas Nath against undefeated Dusty Boyer of Forest Lake, who will be shooting for a state-record fourth consecutive Class 2A singles title.
"Thomas always plays me tough," Boyer said. "He has the best passing shots I've ever seen. I'll have to be patient. I can't just wallop the ball because he hits every ball back."