Tennis: LA ends year at tourney

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — Patrick Raichur ended the 2008 season in much the same fashion as he ended the 2007 season.

Raichur, a sophomore, blew through the first two rounds of the state Class AAAA boys individual tournament only to meet up with one of the top players in the state in the tournament semifinals.

For the second straight year, Goddard’s Matt Neeld bumped Raichur out of the tournament, taking a 6-1, 6-1 win to advance to the title match against Albuquerque Academy’s Andy Cooper.

Neeld, who has a crushing forehand and a second serve better than most player’s first serves, needed only 45 minutes to advance to the tournament finals.

Raichur was forced to gamble throughout the contest, hitting harder shots and harder second serves than he might have otherwise wanted to.

“I was trying to switch it up,” Raichur said after the semifinal. “Maybe something would work, but he’s an all-around good player. He doesn’t have any weaknesses that I could take advantage of.”

Also on Saturday, in the girls doubles semifinal, the doubles squad of Jeena Kim/Grace Kim took on eventual champion Kami Blackwood/Samantha Merrion of Farmington. The Kim sisters fell in the semifinal, 6-1, 6-1.

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