|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • TENNIS

    Wil to win

    Phoenix's Wil Cochrane upsets top-seeded Pronesti in Big Al's open final
  • ASHLAND — Wil Cochrane discovered something about his game at a tennis tournament last week in Sacramento, worked on it all week and on Sunday won the Big Al's men's open singles championship.
    • email print
  • ASHLAND — Wil Cochrane discovered something about his game at a tennis tournament last week in Sacramento, worked on it all week and on Sunday won the Big Al's men's open singles championship.
    The Phoenix High senior-to-be turned a recent breakthrough into Big Al's glory by stunning his former South Medford High teammate and 6A singles finalist Matt Pronesti, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, in a back-and-forth slugfest at Hunter Park.
    The baseline bangers traded blows for about two hours before Cochrane served out the match, and earned some revenge, when Pronesti slapped a forehand into the net at 40-30. Pronesti beat Cochrane, a 4A/3A/2A/1A finalist, in two USTA championship matches and one semifinal last year, but couldn't capitalize on his momentum heading into the third set of the first meeting between the two players in 2011.
    In the women's open singles final, former North Medford standout (and current South Medford boys coach) McKenzie Hilmer, the No. 1 seed, earned her second straight Big Al's title and third overall in a much less competitive match, crushing unseeded Miranda Duggan, 6-0, 6-0.
    Cochrane's upset win — Pronesti, a South Medford senior-to-be, was seeded No. 1 — came a week after he fell to Brent Chin, another 6A juggernaut, in a USTA regional tournament match. It was that 6-0, 7-5 defeat that opened Cochrane's eyes to the kind of player he can be.
    "That match, we were hitting 12, 15 balls in a rally," he said. "I've always understood that's what I gotta do to win, but I never could. And that match I did, so taking that feeling back here I've been working on it for the last week really hard, just trying to instill that deeper."
    The strategy paid off against the risk-taking Pronesti, who produced most of the match's highlights with an electric forehand but also shanked routine shots throughout and coughed up a 40-15 lead during the only service break of the third set.
    "Truthfully, I played awful, terrible tennis today," Pronesti said. "It just wasn't my day, I guess. I couldn't play. I'm an aggressive player and that wasn't working today."
    That was especially true in the all-important eighth game of the third set, which started almost flawlessly for Pronesti but ended up a disaster. He belted two aces and a service winner to go up 40-15, then hit a forehand long for 40-30. Moments later Pronesti was crushing what looked like a surefire game-clinching overhead smash, but Cochrane somehow deflected it back. Pronesti countered with a little flash — a between-the-legs shot that backfired when Cochrane, charging the net, easily put it away to get to deuce.
    "That's a heartbreaker when you have a put-away like that and you think you put it away and then they come up with something," Cochrane said of his game-saving deflection that led to the break. "(Pronesti) could have ran back and hit a good forehand and it probably would have given him a better opportunity to win the point, but he decided to hit a tweener, which is fun. It's cool, but that's his choice and he lost. And that's gonna hurt him, big time."
    Looking to close out, Cochrane found himself in a little trouble when Pronesti vaporized a service return winner to make it 15-30, but a Cochrane overhead followed by consecutive Pronesti misses from the baseline sealed the deal.
    Pronesti, who voiced his frustration for all to hear throughout the match (late in the second set, he shouted to himself "Why are you even playing tennis? You should be playing checkers or something."), dropped his racket as his final shot fell well short then walked slowly to the net to give Cochrane a congratulatory hug.
    "(Pronesti's) a really aggressive player, really aggressive," Cochrane said, "and I think that was one of his flaws today."
    Pronesti agreed, sort of.
    "I play aggressive because he usually doesn't do good on the heavy ball that's aggressive," he said. "I stuck with my game plan but couldn't make anything. "… I don't think there was really a turning point in that match. My entire game was awful today and he picked it apart. Kudos for him on that."
    In the women's final, Hilmer, who played collegiately at Montana State University, dominated despite competing in her first tournament since last year's Big Al's. She needed only two straight-set victories to win the seven-player bracket thanks to a first-round bye.
    "I just tried to be consistent and just make her play, and not try to kill everything because I have a problem with that," Hilmer said. "It's hard because I'm not used to people watching me, you always get nervous."
    Duggan, a 2009 Mount Shasta High graduate, pulled off consecutive comeback wins to advance to the finals, including a 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 upset victory over No. 2 seeded Marina Todd.
    Sunday's Results
    Men's Open Singles — Wil Cochrane d. (1) Matt Pronesti 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, Consolation: Austin Kische d. Douglass Neuman, ret (inj) Men's 3.0 Singles — (1) Shanon Kasiah d. Terry Schwep 6-1, 6-0; Consolation: Erik Tedsen d. Noah Kay 6-4, 6-4.
    Men's 3.5 Singles — Gib Acuna d. Dave Workman 6-0, 7-5; Consolation: Bryant Zwart d. Harvey Saylor 6-4, 6-0.
    Men's 4.0 Singles — (1) David Margulies d. (3) Evan Montz 6-2, 6-1; Consolation: Matthew Gardner d. (2) Mark Reichert 6-2, 7-5.
    Men's 4.5 Singles — Joshua Hamilton d. (1) Robert Molthop 6-4, 6-3; Consolation: (2) Skyler Boles d. Dale Durboraw 6-4, 6-3.
    Women's Open Singles — (1) McKenzie Hilmer d. Miranda Duggan 6-0, 6-0; Consolation: Hanna Greenberg d. Katrina Sauer 6-1, 6-2;
    Women's 3.0 Singles — Cybele Abbett d. Kaylene Godnick 6-4, 6-4; Cybele Abbett d. Aile Reneau 6-0, 6-0; Kaylene Godnick d. Aile Reneau 6-4, 6-0.
    Women's 3.5 Singles — Erika Hughes d. Bari Frimkess 6-4, 3-6, 7-5; Consolation: Whitney Wolff d. (1) Elizabeth Hutton 6-2, 3-6, 10-3.
    Women's 4.5 Singles — Lydia Reiner d. Lauren Gruber 6-0, 6-1; Gail Patton d. Lydia Reiner 6-3, 6-3; Gail Patton d. Lauren Gruber 6-2, 6-3.
    Men's Open Doubles — (2) Schleining/Zaslow d. (1) Littlejohn/Stollberg 7-6, 3-6, 6-3; Consolation: Dix/Neuman d. Kische/Laskos 6-1, 6-4.
    Men's 3.0 Doubles — Souza/kasiah d. Jones/Sotos 7-5, 6-2; Consolation: Elam/Thirkill d. Bosworth/Hoque 6-3, 6-2.
    Men's 3.5 Doubles — (1) Hartman/Heller d. Shaw/Workman 6-0, 6-3; Consolation: Brock/Smith d. Flucke/Laskos 6-1, 4-6, 14-12.
    Men's 4.0 Doubles — (2) Fleming/Williams d. (1) Chavez/Irvine 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
    Men's 4.5 Doubles — (2) Del Rio/Hodges d. (1) Fabian/Rood 4-6, 6-4, 7-6; Consolation: Boles/Montz d. Dietrick/Greenberg 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
    Women's Open Doubles — Lewis/Muller d. Davis/Greenberg 7-6, 6-1; Consolation: (1) Carey/Hilmer d. Davis/Greenberg Wo (admin).
    Women's 3.0 Doubles — Koon/Smiley d. Gore/Kenyon 6-3, 6-1; Consolation: Godnick/Godnick d. Lovelady/Wagner 7-5, 6-1.
    Women's 3.5 Doubles — Finnegan/Whitener d. (1) Dron/Sturges 7-5, 6-2.
    Women's 4.0 Doubles — Collins/Jensen d. Morrow/Wilson 3-6, 7-6, 6-4; Consolation: (1) Annett/Tsumura d. Jewett/Wolff 6-4, 6-2.
    Women's 4.5 Doubles — (1) Ogden/Patton d. Edelstein/Titcomb 6-0, 6-1; Consolation: Bazylewicz/Vaughn d. Chu/Laskos 6-4, 6-4.
    Mixed 6.0 Doubles — Baker/Pischel d. Baker/Baker 6-1, 6-1; Consolation: Koon/Koon d. Adkisson/Adkisson 6-0, 7-6.
    Mixed 7.0 Doubles — (1) Berry/Luce d. (3) Frimkess/Frimkess 6-3, 6-4; Consolation: Wilson/Wilson d. (2) Breedlove/Breedlove 7-5, 2-6, 10-8.
    Mixed 8.0 Doubles — Miles/Mylsamy d. Debello/Kenyon 6-4, 6-4; Consolation: Collins/Irvine d. Kern/Kern 6-2, 3-6, 7-6.
    Mixed 9.0 Doubles — Ames/Molthop d. (1) Hutton/Hutton 6-4, 6-1; Consolation: Bazylewicz/Danson d. Hatch/Panarra 6-7, 7-5, 1-4, 1-2.
Reader Reaction

      calendar