Darien sweeps titles at Class L boys tennis tournament
MIDDLETOWN — It was sweeps week for Darien at the CIAC Class L Boys Tennis Tournament.
The tournament had a championship sweep theme for the Blue Wave, who won the singles title and doubles championship and oh yes, the team title.
Behind numerous standout performances, capped by title-winning efforts during the tournament’s final day of action, Darien won the Class L title championship, amassing a team total of 28 points. New Canaan placed second in the team standings with 24 points, followed by Daniel Hand (20) and Wilton (17). Darien was runner-up to Hand in last year's tournament.
Senior Michael Karr capped the Blue Wave’s winning performance at the tournament, winning the singles title with a well-earned 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 (5) win over Wilton senior Nick Condos before a spirited gathering at Wesleyan University.
“It was a wild ride in that match,” the top-seeded Karr said. “He played an amazing match and I give all the credit to him. I felt like I played the big points at the end a little better. In matches like that, one point can decide the entire match.”
Leading 5-3 in the third set, Condos was one point away from winning the Class L singles championship. Karr, however, broke serve in a game that went to five deuce points, then held, to even the third set at 5-all. Converting a key break point, Karr took a 6-5 edge, before Condos came back with a big break point to force the tiebreaker.
The marathon match last 3 hours, 25 minutes and featured outstanding baseline play by both players, who exhibited their booming groundstrokes, strong serves and retrieving ability.
“When I was down, I’m thinking I need to make a play,” Karr said. “Hopefully, I can get lucky and he makes a mistake. My teammates really helped me in this match, they drove my energy throughout the third set. I am very grateful to be a part of this team.”
Karr and Condos are familiar with each other, having met on the court several times in junior tournaments.
“It’s always difficult playing each other, we train with each other sometimes and we played against each other in the past,” Condos said. “We may have played against each other 15-plus times in USTA tournaments, so we both knew it was going to be a tough match.”
Both players showed their stamina, grinding out impressive shots throughout.
“The third set I just tried to push through it,” Condos said. “Michael gets a lot back, he’s a grinder and a warrior and it was one of the most physical matches I have ever been a part of.”
In championship match of the Class L doubles bracket, Romano DeCaprio and Christopher Calderwood, seeded second, posted a 6-3, 6-0 victory against New Canaan’s top-seeded duo of Luke Crowley and Jack Moore. The Blue Wave duo were a winning combination the whole season for their squad.
“It’s a great feeling, a big accomplishment in my career,” DeCaprio said. “In past years, I was knocked out in the quarters, or even earlier, so it meant a lot to beat this team, who we lost to during the regular season.”
The Blue Wave duo were sparked by consistency.
“Our serve was key, we were serving very well and just had it today,” DeCaprio said.
Added Calderwood: “We came together as a team very well. Definitely as doubles partners, we had a good connection and today we were lucky to pull it off against a good doubles team. We owe a lot to our coaches and teammates.”