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ALBUQUERQUE — Piedra Vista’s Brandon Adair didn’t go into the Class 4A boys singles draw seeded in the top eight. Perhaps that was an oversight.
Adair, the first round opponent of Los Alamos’ Nikita Belooussov, displayed not only a solid first serve, but made some acrobatic shots in Wednesday night’s contest at the 4A state tournament.
Despite some solid play from Belooussov, the No. 5 seed in the draw, Adair proved to be too much, knocking off Belooussov in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1.
Los Alamos advanced Belooussov and the doubles team of Forrest White/George Margevicius to the 4A tournament this season, but neither survived the first round at the Jerry Cline Tennis Center Wednesday.
In singles competition, Adair scored what would be a key break in the first set, giving him a 5-4 edge over Belooussov and gave him a chance to close out that set, which he did, with a scorching ace.
Then, in the second set with Adair up a pair of breaks, he made two big shots at 3-0 to hold his serve.
Adair’s best shot of the match, however, came on a point he lost. Adair did a full body stretch to get a racket on a strong passing shot attempt by Belooussov. Belooussov had to scramble to get to Adair’s shot, which hit the baseline, but Belooussov’s next pass was successful.
Heading in, Belooussov was the only Hilltopper returning from last year’s singles or doubles play. He and partner Dalton Smith were in the 2013 doubles draw.
In this year’s doubles bracket, White/Margevicius, which finished as the runner-up in District 2 last weekend, went in unranked. The team drew a tough opponent from Albuquerque Academy, Carlos Spigel/Jack Keller.
That match remained even throughout, but Spigel/Keller climbed out of a big hole in set two to win 6-4, 7-5.
The first set was back-and-forth much of the way, with White/Margevicius bouncing back from an early break to tie the set up at 3-all.
In the second set, White/Margevicius seemed to find its mojo. Margevicius hit some lightning-quick volleys at the net, including the game-winner that put Los Alamos up 5-2.
Academy held on its next serve to cut the lead to two, then survived match point with Margevicius serving the next game to force deuce and eventually take the game.
Spigel/Keller took advantage of its newfound momentum after that game win to reel off three more straight games and take the contest.