It's too bad Southampton's Jeremy Dubin is a senior, otherwise we'd be looking forward to a third straight rematch in the Suffolk singles championship next season.
The top-seeded Dubin avenged his three-set loss to Whitman's Brandon Stone in last year's championship match, by besting the third-seeded junior, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, in Friday's Suffolk individual championships at Smithtown East. It was Dubin's first Suffolk singles title.
"I was in the same position last year," Dubin said. "I had five match points last year, so it's nice to be able to play the same person again, be down a set and come back and win it."
Stone took the first set by breaking at 5-4 after both players held serve through the first nine games of the set. Dubin dominated the second set with a powerful serve from his 6-5 frame, as he used it to set up points that kept Stone moving along the baseline throughout. Dubin closed the match in the third, maintaining his strong service game and consistent play at the net.
"In the second set, I picked up my serve and realized I had to come to the net and hit more angles and ultimately I won the match," Dubin said.
Dubin, Stone and Zain Ali of Half Hollow Hills East all qualified for the state championships by finishing in the top three at counties.
In doubles, No. 1 Jeff Cherkin and Kyle Alper from Hills East won the title by beating No. 2 J.D. Sipala and Cooper Lacetera of Westhampton in straight sets.
After exchanging breaks early in the first set, Cherkin and Alper won five straight games to take it 6-3. In the second, Cherkin and Alper fell behind 2-5, but again won five straight games and closed the match, 6-3, 7-5, on a Cherkin sharp-angled backhand return that caught the line.
"I thought it was a pretty nice winner cross-court," Cherkin said. "After we broke back at 5-2, everything just went our way from there."
Jeremy Schnapp and Alex Ricciuti of Hills East took third place and will also compete at states, which begin May 29 at the National Tennis Center in Flushing.