Dominic Patrick called it a shot-maker's match. Playing it safe wasn’t going to give Patrick or Cactus Shadows' Jacob Hedderig the Division II tennis state singles title.
In the end it was Patrick who survived a grueling match Saturday at Paseo Tennis Center in Glendale to win his second straight singles championship, 6-1, 6-7, 5-3 (retired).
Leg cramps forced Hedderig to end the match late in the third set.
“It was really a shot-making match,” Patrick said. “Whoever could pull off the big shot in the rally was going to win the point. I played great the first set. You could count on one hand the number of shots I missed.”
This wasn’t the first time these two had played tennis. They both competed at the same tennis academy for a time, and they have a history in USTA tennis as well as high school tennis.
“He got the better of me early on, but I think I’ve won six or seven from him,” Patrick said. “We’ve always had tough matches.”
Hedderig was down in the second set, but rallied back to force a tie-breaker in which he eventually won. But even in that second set, he began to rub his leg to try and keep it from cramping. It didn’t keep him from hitting bunches of winners against Patrick.
“His ball would come back to me faster than my serve,” Patrick said.
Now Patrick is headed to the University of Iowa where he will play for the Hawkeyes beginning this fall.
In the Division II singles it was No. 1 seed Zaina Sufi of Tucson Catalina Foothills who beat Phoenix Sunnyslope’s Aleeza Kanner, 6-1, 6-3 in the final. Kanner was the No. 2 seed.
In Division III singles it was Goodyear Estrella Foothills that dominated with No. 1 seed Erin Cory winning the girls title with a 6-1, 6-1 win over No. 6 seed Kindra Holliday of Miami. No. 1 seed Max Schell of Estrella Foothills beat No. 3 seed Delaney Harbin of Phoenix Christian, 6-1, 6-1 for the boys title.