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Jamestown sophomore Grayson DeBerry took home his first Conference 19 singles title Wednesday, defeating Tabb’s Jimmy Qing 6-1, 6-0 in the championship match.
DeBerry said he lucked out in the draw after the championship match. While Qing had already played two matches that day prior to the championship match, DeBerry had only played one match due to his semifinal opponent, Grafton’s Zeke Tal, withdrawing because of illness.
In the quarterfinals, DeBerry got a tough match from Tabb’s Tyler Hogge, eventually winning 6-1, 7-6. Qing reached the championship match by defeating Powhatan’s Hank Stokes 6-0, 6-3 in the quarterfinals and Smithfield’s Joe Holloway 6-0, 6-3 in the semifinals.
By the time the final match rolled around, it was clear DeBerry was the more rested of the two players. He said after the match he thought the difference in energy between himself and Qing was a big factor in the match playing out like it did.
With all eyes on the two competitors, DeBerry and Qing battled back and forth through the first three games of the opening set. Long rallies that included plenty of horizontal runs played into the advantage of the well-rested DeBerry.
After winning the first set 6-1, DeBerry used his momentum from the first set to put away the second set without dropping a game.
“I was playing pretty consistently, but I feel I was pretty attacking well,” he said after the match. “I was coming to the net well and my approach shots were pretty spot-on.”
A first-time singles champion, DeBerry said he hopes this title will lead to bigger and better things throughout his tennis career.
“It feels really good, because I worked really hard in the offseason in fine-tuning my game,” he said. “I feel it’s another step in a larger goal I want to get to, which is states and states for the team also.”
DeBerry and Qing with both compete in Friday’s Conference 19 doubles tournament, which will be held at Kiwanis Park.
Bruton Doubles Pairings Fall in Conference 33 Tournament
Bruton’s two doubles teams fell in the Conference 33 doubles tournament Wednesday.
The Panthers’ No. 1 doubles team of Ian Sadler and Dylan Shannon won their quarterfinal match against Surry County’s No. 1 doubles team before falling in the semifinals to Maggie Walker’s top doubles team.
Bruton’s No. 2 doubles team of Daanish Fiaz and Joey Morrow reached the quarterfinals after winning a play-in match 6-2, 6-1 against Surry county’s No. 2 team.
In the quarterfinals, Fiaz and Morrow were bounced from the tournament by Windsor’s No. 1 doubles team.
By being eliminated from the Conference 33 doubles tournament, Bruton’s season officially comes to a close.