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St. Petersburg's Corty claims individual crown in 4A state tennis

St. Petersburg’s Emily Dvorak serves during a doubles match vs. Miami’s Zulema Zelaya and Diana Perez.

PHELAN M. EBENBACK | Special to the Times

St. Petersburg’s Emily Dvorak serves during a doubles match vs. Miami’s Zulema Zelaya and Diana Perez.

Edward Corty knew his usual style of play would be a recipe for disaster against Lake Brantley's Rushi Amin in the final of the individual singles bracket at the Class 4A state tournament in Altamonte Springs.

So the St. Petersburg junior switched things up. He played less aggressively than he's used to. He took some pace off his strokes.

And he ended up with a 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4) victory that puts him in this morning's Class 4A overall singles championship against the 3A defending singles champion, Wharton's Mike Alford.

"I just kind of outlasted him," Corty said of Amin. "I basically didn't miss. I took my opportunities when I had them. I just tried to put him in an uncomfortable position the whole time."

Corty, a 6-1, 6-3 loser to Alford when the two met in regionals a week ago, will try to keep the momentum from three state tournament wins going against Alford.

"I'm just really excited to be here," Corty said. "I'll play loose with nothing to lose (against Alford)."

The St. Petersburg doubles team of Emily Dvorak and Agatha Ambrozy were knocked out of the tournament after a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 defeat to Miami's Zulema Zelaya and Diana Perez in the semifinals. The match was the first of the tournament for Dvorak and Ambrozy, who were seeded third and received an opening-round bye.

Seminole freshman Julia Sikorski lost out in her bid to capture the Class 4A individual singles bracket on the girls side. Sikorski advanced to the final with two victories Monday, but was dropped by St. Thomas Aquinas' Bianca Sanon 6-4, 6-2 in the individual singles final.

Elsewhere in the bay area, Wharton's boys made Hillsborough County history, becoming the first school to win three straight team titles. While Plant's move to 4A met a roadblock in Miami Dr. Krop, which won its fourth straight state title, the Panther girls finished second for their third straight top-two state finish.

Wharton edged runnerup Cypress Bay 15-13, needing Alford's singles win and Jon Ho's win at No. 4 singles to clinch. Ho and Ben Hwang also claimed the No. 2 singles crown.

Staff writer Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this report.

St. Petersburg's Corty claims individual crown in 4A state tennis 04/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 11:50pm]
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