Kady Tannenbaum of Commack.

Kady Tannenbaum of Commack. Credit: Melissa Phillips

Nothing seemed to faze Commack sophomore Kady Tannenbaum at the state tournament for girls tennis.

The name of the opponent across the net was inconsequential. They were all just another hurdle on the way to a state title. She needed five wins to complete her journey to the state crown.

And in the final, Tannenbaum upended Larisa Kotok of Marion Central School, 6-4, 6-0, to win the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association singles championship at Sportime in Schenectady.

Tannenbaum became the first in Commack school history to win the state girls tennis crown. The ride through the 32-player bracket could have been daunting but Tannenbaum said she never felt any pressure.

"There was no pressure because I had nothing to lose," said Tannenbaum, the No. 5 seed. "We were both a little nervous and tight in the first set. I broke her and then held serve to win the first set. I started to play loose and free. I felt like I was playing well in every phase of my game. My serve was strong, and I was moving forward really well and dictating the pace."

She beat Victoria McEnroe of Bronxville, the daughter of former professional standout Patrick McEnroe, in a heart-thumping, three-set win in the round of 16.

She had to get through Longwood’s Victoria Matos, who had beaten her in a thrilling Suffolk title match. She avenged that loss in a quarterfinal sweep.

Coach Jackie Clark and champion Kady Tannenbaum of Commack after the 2021...

Coach Jackie Clark and champion Kady Tannenbaum of Commack after the 2021 state girls tennis championship on Oct. 30, 2021 in Schenectady. Credit: NYSPHSAA

And she beat Isabella Sha of Friends Academy in an All-Long Island semifinal sweep.

"She’s the school’s first state champion in girls tennis," said Jackie Clark, the Commack girls tennis coach since 2014. "She let two match points get away in the county final and didn’t dwell on that disappointing loss. She moved on, came upstate and took care of business. It’s a sign of maturity."

Clark, who also coached the boys varsity tennis team at Commack for six years, said the 15-year-old Tannenbaum had the right frame of mind and had a laser focus in each match.

"In the round of 16, McEnroe played lights out in the first set and Kady shook it off and came back to win the next two sets to advance," Clark said. "She turned that match around and didn’t get down at all. It was an exciting atmosphere."

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