Alex Rzehak’s demeanor never changed.
The Harborfields senior already had secured a spot in the boys tennis state championship by making the county final and he was looking to calmly continue adding accolades.
Top-seeded Rzehak did just that, defeating No. 3 Michael Koscinski of Center Moriches, 6-3, 6-1, to capture the Suffolk singles championship at Half Hollow Hills West Saturday morning.
“It feels great,” Rzehak said. “I’ve always wanted to do this and I felt a lot of relief because I really wanted to go to states this year but I also really wanted to win this title.”
Rzehak, who was a state tournament alternate the past two years, punched his ticket to play in the tournament, which begins May 30 at the National Tennis Center in Queens, when he beat Commack’s Matt Strogach in a semifinal last week.
“Alex has had a great run,” Harborfields coach Bob Davis said. “His quest this year was to get to go to Flushing and play in the championship. He put in the time and the effort and it paid off. Being the county champion was the cream on top.”
Rzehak and Koscinski split the first two games and both were tightly contested. From there Rzehak was able to remain steady and closed out the first set 6-3.
The second set was more of the same for Rzehak, who broke Koscinski in the first game to take control. He could only laugh when he just missed a between-the-legs shot with his back to the net after chasing down a lob before moving onto the next point.
“I think for Alex it’s all about his state of mind,” Davis said. “He has all the tools but he’s playing more relaxed. He’s got confidence in himself and is playing more relaxed. He doesn’t get caught up on any one shot and in tennis that’s very important.”
It was a banner season for Harborfields as they advanced to the semifinals in the team tournament and crowned their first ever county champion.
“We had four good singles players and the other three saw what Alex was doing and the time he was putting in and followed,” Davis said. “As a result we had tremendous success and a lot of that was attributed to Alex and his leadership.”
Rzehak and Koscinski will be joined by Connetquot’s Alan Sabovic, who defeated Strogach, 6-1, 6-1, in the consolation final.
Hills East's Han, Cheng take doubles title
In the doubles final top-seeded Michael Han and Albert Cheng of Half Hollow Hills East defeated No. 3 James Yu and Eddie Liao of Commack, 6-3, 6-2.
They’ll be joined at the state tournament by Ishan Varma and Aryan Sethi, who were the seventh seed. They upset No. 4 Jacob and Xavier Khan of Southold/Greenport, 7-5, 6-4, in the consolation final.