After a dominant second-day performance in the Class 1A singles tournament in which he routed two quality opponents on the way to his second consecutive championship, Breck's Myles Tang might be called, with a fair amount of certainty, the best player in high school tennis not named Boyer.
Tang, an athletic combination of intelligence and creativity on the court, crushed Blake's Charlie Adams 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals Friday. It was Adams who had given Tang all he could handle in the team tournament, extending him to three sets despite suffering from severe cramps.
Tang's strength is his savvy, and wasn't about to let Adams show the same kind of life he did previously.
"He likes to sit back really far, so this time I started stepping in and taking the ball earlier," Tang said. "I didn't want him to get comfortable. I wanted to put the pressure on him."
Tang followed by beating Holy Family's Connor Oberle 6-3, 6-2 in the championship match.
As a lefthanded player, Oberle's game presented different challenges for Tang. But he solved that riddle early and cruised to another title, showing patience early and effectively countering Oberle's aggressive play.
Adding an element of what-if to Tang's victory is the fact that, had things gone slightly differently in 2010, he might be looking at a chance next year to tie Forest Lake's Dusty Boyer for consecutive state championships. Tang nearly won the Class 1A championship as a freshman, falling to St. Paul Academy's John Hill in the final.
It's also entirely possible Tang might not return to defend his title next year. With an eye on a college tennis career, Tang wasn't even sure he was coming back this year.
"The upcoming summer is really big in terms of college tennis and getting noticed by coaches," he said. "My parents and coaches had talked about keeping me out, but I felt that if I kept in tip-top shape and played every high school match, it would pay off."
It did. With another championship.