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SWR's Chris Kuhnle wins Suffolk tennis title

Shoreham-Wading River's Christopher Kuhnle hits a forehand return

Shoreham-Wading River's Christopher Kuhnle hits a forehand return in his singles finals match against Bayport-Blue Point's Stephen Gruppuso on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at William Floyd High School. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

It was a different season and a different sport but Wednesday at Floyd there was another member of the Kuhnle family coming up big in a county final.

Top-seeded Chris Kuhnle of Shoreham-Wading River defeated the second-seeded Stephen Gruppuso of Bayport-Blue Point, 6-4, 6-0, to capture the Suffolk individual tennis championship.

Alex Kuhnle, Chris' sister, scored the only goal in the girls soccer county final against Sayville in the fall.

"This was much more stressful," father Chris said. "She was out there with the team. In tennis you're alone."

The younger Kuhnle, a junior, was out there a while in the semifinals as he battled Emmanuel Vacalares of East Islip in a back and forth match that Kuhnle took, 7-5, 7-6.

The tight match and shorter rest before the final didn't hurt Kuhnle, who scored a big break to go up 5-4 on the previously undefeated Gruppuso before serving to close out the first set.

"Leading up to the season I've really been working on my fitness and making sure I go to the gym a lot," Kuhnle said. "I really think in times like this it shows."

Kuhnle said this was his fifth county tournament and by far his best result. He'll enter the New York State tournament at the National Tennis Center in Queens, which begins May 28, with a perfect 25-0 record.

"I've been working hard and putting in everything I can for moments like this," Kuhnle said. "I'm feeling confident in how I'm playing and I'm going to make sure I take that with me next week."

Kuhnle and Gruppuso will be joined at the state tournament by Cannon Kingsley of Northport, who defeated Vacalares, 6-2, 6-2, in the consolation final.

In the doubles final Dylan and Duane Davis of Half Hollow Hills West defeated teammates Jackson Weisbrot and Evan Nierman, 6-2, 6-2, to win their second straight county title.

The Davises are 15-0 on the season and didn't drop their first game of the tournament until a semifinal match with Ross Reiffman and Tyler London of Half Hollow Hills East. The Davises prevailed, 6-4, 6-4.

"It was a little scary," Duane said of the semifinal match against Reiffman and London. "We played them during the season and it was close. I think we backed up a little bit and weren't aggressive enough and that's why it was close."

Reiffman and London won their consolation match over Alex Amadio and Nick Gajda.

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