Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK’s Yuval Solomon has another jewel for his high school tennis crown.
The reigning state champion won his third consecutive Nassau singles tournament title, 6-0, 6-0 over New Hyde Park’s Peter Siozios at Oceanside High School on Sunday.
“I focused on playing my game and being aggressive,” Solomon said.
Earlier this season, the senior took his first Nassau loss since first appearing in the singles final as a freshman in 2014. He fell to Neel Rajesh, but the fifth-year player avenged that defeat with a win over Rajesh last week. And in the bigger picture, Solomon said the loss helped.
“It’s always good to lose, it’s not good to always be on top to see what you still need to work on, what you need to focus on,” Solomon said.
Solomon will return to the state championship on June 1 at the National Tennis Center in Queens, but on Sunday, he was zeroed in on the present.
“I don’t really know what the score is in the past,” Solomon said. “I just focus on the next point and winning the next point and winning every point.”
Syosset wins doubles title. Over the course of four seasons, Syosset’s Eli Grossman and Preet Rajpal have gone from rivals, to good friends to a champion doubles duo.
The pair started competing against each other in tryouts in the eighth grade and became friends off the court in the years that followed. When unlikely circumstances from a rainout and obligations for other players created a need for a team, the juniors couldn’t resist combining their talents for the first time.
“We always wanted to play with each other for a long time. It just hasn’t worked out well,” Grossman said. “When the opportunity came we both had to say yes, and here we are.”
The pair defeated Roslyn’s Zach Khazzam and Sangjin Song, 7-6 (5), 6-2, to claim the Nassau doubles title and return the title to Syosset for the third year running.
“We had a mindset going in that we were in the second seed and that played to our advantage,” Rajpal said.
Rajpal and Grossman said there were some growing pains that came with teaming up for the first time, but their familiarity trumped those moments, and their friendship won out when it came time to pick each other up.
“We just had this feeling of where we’re going to be,” Rajpal said. “His athleticism, and our tennis brains together combined to be a really good storm for us too.”
In addition to all finalists, singles consolation winner Rajon Vohra of North Shore and doubles consolation winners Tim Nacca and Patrick Bodowitz of Garden City qualified for the state tournament.