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Championship Week
Greif Gains Gold Again

The summer of 2016 will be remembered as a golden one for US Olympians like Michael Phelps and Simone Biles. Although Kalamazoo is not Rio, Lukas Greif will share in their fond memories of the past few weeks, after defeating Jenson Brooksby 6-0, 6-3 to win the USTA Boys 16s National Championships, adding a second gold ball after claiming the 16s Clay Courts title three weeks earlier.

Singles champion Lukas Greif
© ZooTennis.com
The final was a repeat of that championship match in Delray Beach, which Greif won by a 6-1, 6-1 score, earning him the top seed in Kalamazoo.

The tricky transition to hard courts showed in his first match, which he won 7-5, 6-3, but after that, Greif dominated, losing only nine games in his next four matches. In the semifinals, the 16-year-old from Indiana faced a tough test, playing unseeded Matthew Tsolakyan indoors due to rain, but he emerged with a 6-1, 6-3 win over the big-hitting left-hander from Southern California.

Brooksby's path to the final was decidedly bumpier, with the No. 10 seed needing three sets to beat No. 13 seed Trey Hilderbrand in the quarterfinals and coming from behind to score a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 victory in the semifinals against No. 15 seed Robert Maciag.

Greif said he was nervous prior to the final, but it didn't show in his tennis, as he took the first seven games of the match and didn't allow Brooksby a game point until the 15-year-old from Northern California was serving down 0-1 in the second set. Moving well and dictating play with his forehand, Greif did not give Brooksby any opportunity to use his considerable court sense in the opening set.

Brooksby managed to push Greif for several games in the second set, breaking Greif with a forehand return winner that drew a huge ovation from the large crowd and put him back on serve. But Greif broke back in a three-deuce game to go up 4-2, unwilling to provide Brooksby with any hope for a third consecutive three-set win.

"When you're the No. 1 seed, it's tough, because people are gunning for you, going to play their best against you, come out firing," said Evansville's Greif. "I felt like I did a good job with that this week, weathering the storm of some people, like Jenson in the second set. He played an unbelievable set, we had a lot of close games, but they just happened to go my way."

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Page updated on Monday, March 09, 2020
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