Brymer Takes Boys CIF championships at The Ojai
by Keith Kropp, 2 May 2013
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Having captured the last two Boys CIF championships at the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, Gage Brymer really didn't have much to prove heading into the 113th Ojai. But with a chance to join an exclusive club, the University (Irvine, Calif.) High senior saw things differently.
Brymer dominated the 64-player field, capping a brilliant performance over four days with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Taylor Fritz
of Torrey Pines High in the championship match at Libbey Park. The win enabled Brymer to achieve something only two other players have done at this prestigious tournament.
The top-seeded Brymer became the first junior at The Ojai since 1936 to achieve a three-peat in Boys CIF singles. The last player to do it was former U.S. Open champion Bobby Riggs, when he played at Franklin High. Three decades earlier, Trowbridge Hendricks (Los Angeles High, 1899 to 1901) captured three in a row.
Unlike the other Ojai junior divisions, the Boys CIF championships (singles and doubles) require players to take part in the high school season. Knowing what was at stake, there was little chance Brymer would opt to play a more demanding schedule in order to prepare for college.
"High school tennis is a big deal to me and my high school," Brymer said moments after Saturday's final. "To win a third (CIF Boys title) in a row is really special."
Brymer, ranked No. 1 in Boys 18 singles in Southern California, was in top form in the final. The UCLA-bound Brymer did not face a break point on serve and converted five of his eight break-point opportunities. In the early stages, however, there was little between the two finalists.
Fritz, a 6-foot-1 freshman who upset No. 2 seed Alec Adamson of Corona Del Mar (Calif.) in the morning semifinals, matched Brymer's firepower in the opening six games. Level at 3-all, Brymer earned his first two break-point chances, cashed in on the second and kicked his game into high gear.
Brymer held for 5-3, broke serve again to secure the first set and went on to complete a run of 10 consecutive games and close out the match in 59 minutes.
"A lot of my matches are like that in the beginning," said Brymer, who will play collegiately at UCLA next fall. "But my game is solid. Finally I was able to start winning the big points and shift the momentum."