Shah beats Dubin in state tournament

Herrick's Vihar Shah hits a forehand during his

Herrick's Vihar Shah hits a forehand during his upset win over South Hampton's Jeremy Dubin during the NYSPHAA state tennis tournament. (May 31, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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Call it a tough draw, but Southampton's Jeremy Dubin and Herricks' Vihar Shah would rather have faced each other later in the state boys tennis championships.

The familiar foes met Thursday in the only all-Long Island matchup of the first round at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, with Shah beating the Suffolk singles champ in a grueling three-set match, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

"It's unfortunate I had to play such a tough player after winning the counties," Dubin said. "It's disappointing. I knew it'd be a tough match and it's one I definitely could have won, but he's a tough player."

Shah and Dubin practice together almost every Wednesday throughout the season at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy on Randall's Island.

"I'm familiar with him," Shah said. "I'd rather play someone else but since I played someone from Long Island I knew how he played so it was good and bad at the same time."

Dubin was the only singles player from Long Island who did not advance to the second round of the winners bracket, as Shah joined No. 1 Josh Levine (Cold Spring Harbor), the defending state and Nassau champion, Andrew Yaraghi (Friends Academy), Brandon Stone (Whitman) and Zain Ali (Half Hollow Hills East) as winners. Shah was the only one of the five to win in three sets, his match with Dubin lasting two hours and twenty minutes.

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"It was really hard," Shah said. "But I kept going at it and in the end my forehand started coming back and my backhand was on today."

In doubles, four of Long Island's six teams advanced, headlined by the top-seeded pair of Matt Barry and Ethan Bogard (Long Beach). Bogard and Barry both went undefeated playing singles for the Marines this season, but joined forces to win the Nassau doubles title and compete at states.

"This is new, playing together," Bogard said. "We both had a lot of success this year and then putting it together has worked out great. In singles you don't come to the net as much so we had to make that adjustment and said to each other let's just come to the net a lot and put the pressure on our opponents."

Bogard and Barry will face Jeremy Schnapp and Alex Ricciuti (Hills East) in the second round after the Hills East duo won its first-round match, as did J.D Sipala and Cooper Lacetera (Westhampton) and Austin Davidow and Alex Sacher (North Shore).

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