COLUMBUS — St. John’s Jesuit junior Ryan Brown said he received about 30 text messages Saturday wishing him and his sophomore brother, Kevin, good luck in the Division I state doubles semifinals.
The pair won the first set against Cincinnati Sycamore’s Dylan Stern and Deepak Indrakanti 6-3 and even had a match point leading 6-5 in the second set when luck ran out.
Sycamore’s duo rallied for a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory at Ohio State.
“[Sycamore] just hung tough,” Ryan Brown said. “We had a match point but they gained the momentum after that.”
Stern and Indrakanti clawed back against the Browns to win a tiebreaker in the second set before taking the third set. The Sycamore team went on to lose to Upper Arlington’s Jeffrey Melvin and Nate Wallace 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the final.
The Browns then fell to Mason’s Alexander Lebedev and Young-Jin Kang 6-1, 6-2 in the third-place match.
But the brothers will be competing along with their teammates today in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association’s state team tournament that also includes Upper Arlington, Sycamore, and Copley.
During the regular season, Kevin usually played No. 1 singles and Ryan often was at No. 3.
“The singles draw [in northwest Ohio] was really tough this year so I thought doubles would give us the best chance of getting far,” Kevin said.
“We’re both really aggressive players so we played off each other,” Ryan said.
Last season, Kevin and 2012 graduate Spencer Crawford lost to Sycamore’s Yuri Karev and Nakul Narendran 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 in the first round of the state doubles tournament. Karev and Narendran were runners-up last year but lost in the second round to the Brown siblings 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 on Friday at Elysium Tennis Center in Plain City.
Brown and Brown opened state play by beating Dublin Jerome’s Adam Seitz and Kent Seitz 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Friday.
“[Stern and Indrakanti] hit a lot of balls down the line like [the Sycamore team of Narendran and Karev],” coach Jim Davis said. “We had a match point and just missed on some opportunities. In my opinion this sport is all about conversions and this sport is about momentum.
“What I think they’re learning is about fitness. They played 11 sets [during the state tournament] and might play as many as six more [during the team tournament].”