Boca Ciega junior Dan Stefan decided to play high school tennis for the first time this season. It is proving to be a good decision.
Stefan, who plays on the USTA junior circuit and is ranked 19th in the state, won the Class 3A individual singles championship at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs Tuesday with two straight-sets victories. He faces Gainesville’s Zachary Goldberg at 8 a.m. today for the overall state singles title. Goldberg won No. 1 singles in the team bracket.
“I knew there were going to be some tough matches today,’’ said Stefan, also ranked 112th nationally by tennisrecruiting.net. “But I had my serve going and that’s going to make things hard on them. I felt very good in both matches.’’
In his first match, Stefan defeated Orlando Edgewater’s Peter Tong 6-0, 6-0. The second match was a 6-4, 6-4 win over Naples Gulf Coast’s Christopher Barrus.
“I knew Peter from other tournaments so I knew what to expect,’’ Stefan said. “I’d never seen the Gulf Coast guy. He’s new to the area. So I just had to make sure I played my game. I wanted them both to go straight sets so I didn’t wear myself out.’’
Stefan said he knows of Goldberg but has never played against him. He is trying to become Pinellas County’s first individual champion since Canterbury’s Dan McCain won the Class 3A title in 1998.