Jason Brown and Toby Ma will try to do for the tennis team in three days starting Thursday what competitors at Wimbledon have two weeks to accomplish.
The Two Warriors carry the team’s hopes into the State Meet Thursday through Saturday at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights hoping to improve on their solid finishes a year ago.
Top seeded Brown and Ma, with a fifth through eighth seed, will have to play six matches before having the opportunity to face each other as they did Saturday for the Deerfield Sectional Title. In most tournaments, players play fewer matches a day, according to Warrior Coach Josh Leighton.
“These guys are well conditioned athletes,” Leighton said. “One of the big differences between this and the USTA (United States Tennis Association) events is you only play one or two matches (there). They have been in very good shape.”
while Ma made the top 12. Both seek improvement over a year ago but are taking a focused approach. “We have to take it one match at a time,” Brown said.
Though Brown promises not to think beyond his current match, he has confidence in his ability to earn a trophy. “I think about it every day,” he said. “If I play the way I know I can play anything can happen.”
Though Ma would like nothing better than playing his teammate in the title match, the primary attention for the junior is improving over the 2011 meet. “I’d like to do better than last year,” he said. “Maybe the quarters, maybe the semis.”
The brackets are designed so the only way teammates can play against each other is for a championship or a consolation title. Leighton is optimistic about the chances of both players.
“He has earned it,” Leighton said of Brown’s top seeding. “He has had a really good season and has played exceedingly well the last six weeks.” He also expresses caution. “There are a lot of really good players. There can be some close matches in the round of 32 (the third round).”
More than anything, Leighton wants Brown and May to focus on one match at a time. The better they do as individuals, the higher the Warriors will finish as a team.