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Oyster Bay's Neel Rajesh loses to No. 3 seed in Open junior's tournament

Neel Rajesh with the backhand return against Hugo

Neel Rajesh with the backhand return against Hugo Gaston during a first round boys' juniors match at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Monday. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Running into a lightning quick and crafty opponent in the first round of the Open’s junior boys tournament on Monday, Neel Rajesh of Oyster Bay lost to Hugo Gaston of France, the No. 3 seed.

“Hugo is a great player, very fast, doesn’t give you any free points,” said Rajesh, who lost 6-1, 6-3 and managed to get a break of Gaston’s serve in the second set. “I thought the rallies were pretty tight. I felt like at the end of the games and deuce points I got a little stiff and didn’t play my game. I let him dictate the points, which isn’t going to work against him. He’s just too aggressive with his backhand and his hands are unbelievable.”

Rajesh, 17, will eventually pursue a professional career and will also decide on a college this fall. He will look to play Futures events over the next few months.

He got into the Open juniors through the wild card her earned by winning the national junior clay court title in July.

Cannon Kingsley of Northport and Lea Ma of Dix Hills play their second-round matches on Tuesday.

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