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NA's Kahatapitiya tops boys tennis rankings

What's a sport without rankings, right? So here we go with our debut of the Top 10 boys singles players in South Hampton Roads. Next week, we'll roll out the girls tennis rankings.

Opinions, pro or con, are always welcome. In fact, they're highly encouraged. So hit us up with your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or at mytopspinlob@gmail.com

Oh, and coaches, don't forget those scores!

Boys tennis rankings

1. Romesh Kahatapitiya, Sr., Norfolk Academy
     - Always a beautiful ball striker, the Naval Academy-bound Kahatapitiya is gaining the tactical proficiency to match and has been playing like a flat-out beast of late. Tuesday's 6-3, 6-3 victory over Cape Henry's Alexey Lunin may not have been as decisive as that score suggests - we're told the match was littered with 50-50 games and quality exchanges. Still, three and three against Lunin is about as impressive a scoreline as you're going to see.

2. Alex Loope, Sr. Norfolk Collegiate
     - Loope caught our eye with his heady performance in last week's 7-6, 6-4 over Cape Henry's Lunin. Based on the quality of his shots and the smarts with which he executed them, we'd say Davidson College made an excellent choice. Meanwhile, Lunin will get a chance to avenge that loss Friday at Cape Henry.

3. Alexey Lunin, Fr., Cape Henry
     - Don't be misled by his 3-2 record, as the stylish lefty has played nothing but heavyweights and his victories include a 10-7 third-set tiebreak decision over Kahatapitiya in their first meeting two weeks ago. Lunin launches rockets off both wings, and we wonder if at times he doesn't go too big for his own good. Then again, Lunin's just a freshman, and his style has a high ceiling. When everything clicks into place, we doubt few players will be able to touch him - here, or anywhere else.

4. Boris Lunin, Fr., Cape Henry
     - Alexey's righthanded fraternal twin brother presents many of the same challenges, and it seems almost unfair that opposing teams' second-best player have to deal with him.

5. Andrew Roberts, Sr., Cape Henry
     - The embarrassment of riches at the top of Cape Henry's lineup continues as Roberts would be a powerful No. 1 player at just about any other school. As for the emotional challenge of being a senior this good and having to play behind a couple of freshmen, well, let's just say this is far from the biggest obstacle he's had to overcome in life.

6. Ryan Charles, Sr., Landstown
     - We've only seen Charles warm up for about 10 minutes, so our scouting report on the 2016 Coastal Conference singles runner-up/doubles champion is pretty thin - big man, big serve. Furthermore, the Eagles haven't gotten into the meat of their schedule yet so it's tough to say for sure where Charles actually belongs on this list. We're sure about this, though - he certainly looks the part.

7. Bryon Toner, Jr,, Cox
     - A third-year No. 1 player who, like Charles, has yet to be seriously tested in 2017 high school competition. A lot will be riding on the Toner-Charles showdown that highlights the Landstown-Cox match on April 24 at Cox.

8. Harrison Gray, Jr., Maury
     - Vastly improved from a year ago, Gray seized the No. 1 spot over two talented Commodores rivals. He also owns one of the more impressive public school high school victories, a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Granby's dangerous Julius Gavin.

9. Noah Warack, Sr., Grassfield
     - The defending Monitor-Merrimac singles champion and owner of a wicked kick serve - when he really goes after it. Warack earned his spot - and unofficial title of champion of Chesapeake - by outdueling Western Branch's Ben Holtzclaw 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 in late March in what so far has been a rare public school matchup of high-level players. Holtzclaw will attempt to avenge this loss when the teams meet again on April 28 at Grassfield.

10. Connor Jacob, Sr., Norfolk Academy
     - We've seen Jacobs play, but even if we hadn't, just the fact that he plays No. 2 for Norfolk Academy strongly suggests he belongs in here somewhere. And certainly not going to hold two losses to Cape Henry's Boris Lunin against him. Anyone else here want a piece of Boris Lunin?

Lurking below the surface

Nathaniel Gedamu, Landstown; Flynn Somers, Cape Henry; Ben Holtzclaw, Western Branch, Ethan Willingham, Maury; Oliver Siegfried, Maury; Jonathan Mo, Cox

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. No we have not as of yet to see the real top 10 boys single. Maybe never do to how Virginia set their team to play each other. We seen this with Kelsey Smylie of Princess Anne High School beat Maury High School number 1 and rank 8 out of the best 10 in Virginia area 6-1, 6-2, so where do Kelsey Smylie fit in that category. Kelsey only lost 1 single match the entire season as of now?

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