Saif Khan felt the pressure. It built during an undefeated regular season for Khan, a junior from Heights. But Khan didn't buckle and won his second consecutive City League tennis championship in No. 1 singles Saturday at the Coleman Tennis Complex.
Khan defeated Northwest's Joey Wakim 6-3, 6-2 in a rematch of last year's final.
"It feels good, two years, that was a lot of pressure," Khan said.
This year, Khan fought off two big deficits and won the big points of the match. Up 4-3 in the first set, Khan trailed 0-30 and came back to win the game. In the next game, Khan broke Wakim's serve after being down 40-0 to win the first set.
"I didn't want to lose now," Khan said.
It still wasn't enough for Heights, which finished third in the tournament, to overtake Bishop Carroll and Northwest.
Northwest beat Bishop Carroll by one point for the team tournament championship. Northwest had finalists in three of the four events.
"It was all the matches before the finals is where we won," Northwest coach Mike Thomas said. "It's definitely nice to win the tournament."
The only final the Grizzlies didn't make was in No. 2 doubles, but Seth McDaniel and Brailey Bazzell defeated East's Anthony Nola and Pann Pichet 6-1, 6-4 for third place.
"I always tell the guys that it's always the bottom three that win the tournament and they kept us alive," Thomas said.
Carroll, winner of the regular season duals, and Northwest are co-champions for the second consecutive year. It's the seventh consecutive year Carroll has won or shared the CL title.
"One of these years one of us will win it without the other," Carroll coach Darren Huslig said.
Carroll's No. 1 doubles team extended its dominance at the CL tournament. Luke Miller and Jordan Torres defeated Northwest's Andrew Haralson and Trevor Metzger 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). But it wasn't easy. It took six match points for Carroll to clinch its sixth consecutive No. 1 doubles champion.
"Match point is the hardest point to win, that's for sure," Miller said. "We finally got it, it took six tries, but we got it done and that's all that matters."
Heights took the No. 2 singles championship when Mateo Cabezas defeated Austin Awtrey 6-2, 6-1.
Carroll got its second doubles championship with Christian Lollar and Blake Keirsey's 6-4, 6-4 win against Kapaun's Patrick Lahey and Jack Klenda at No. 2.
"Our kids finished off the tournament, every one of them won their last match to get us as many points as we could, I'm proud of them for the way they finished," Huslig said.
Team results (tournament) —1. Northwest 58; 2. Carroll 57; 3. Heights 51; 4. Kapaun 43; 5. East 32; 6. North 24; 7. South 13; 8. Southeast 10; 9. West 4.
Team results (overall) —T1. Carroll, Northwest 17; T3. Heights, Kapaun 13; 5. East 10; 6. North 8; T7. South, Southeast 5; 9. West 2.
No. 1 singles — 1. Khan, Heights, def. Wakim, Northwest, 6-3, 6-2; 3. Ohm, Carroll, def. Wherritt, North, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
No. 2 singles — 1. Cabezas, Heights, def. Awtrey, Northwest, 6-2, 6-4; 3. Riedl, Kapaun, def. Hwu, East, 6-1, 6-4.
No. 1 doubles — 1. Miller/Torres, Carroll, def. Haralson/Metzger, Northwest, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); 3. George/Salgado, Kapaun, def. Nola/McIntyre, East, 6-1, 6-1.
No. 2 doubles — 1.Lollar/Keirsey, Carroll, def. Lahey/Klenda, Kapaun, 6-4, 6-4; 3. McDaniel/Bazzell, Northwest, def. Nola/Pichet, East, 6-1, 6-4.