NEW HAVEN >> The final high school tennis match of Jason Seidman’s high school career lasted 46 minutes at the Connecticut Tennis Center. He calmly walked to the net and shook hands with Seiji Hosokawa.
There wasn’t much fanfare surrounding Seidman’s 6-1, 6-0 State Open title Wednesday afternoon, the first for the Amity senior. He finished his season at 22-0, dropping just two sets all season long.
“I really couldn’t have asked for a better year,” he said.
In the other State Open matches, all held on Stadium Court for the first time, Darien’s Kateri Martin won the girls singles titles while Josh Moskovitz and Max Zimmerman of Staples and Jamie Thimineur Rachel Einbinder of Amity won their respective doubles finals.
Seidman’s only two dropped sets were to Rich Ciamarra of Xavier, who upset him in the Class LL state semifinals last year and went on to win both that and the Open. Seidman beat him in the Class LL final this year and helped lead the Spartans to the team title.
“He wanted to redeem himself against Ciamarra and bring home a team state championship to Amity,” Amity coach Chris Raffone said. “He had to make the players on the team better every day during practice in order for us to win a state championship. He will go down as one of the greatest tennis players in Amity history, right up there with (former ATP Tour pro) Lou Gloria.”
Ciamarra did not play in this year’ Open. Seidman hadn’t played in it the last three due to academic reasons.
“I wasn’t sure I would play in it this year, but the coaches wanted me to play in it,” said Seidman, the top seed. “Unfortunately for (Hosokawa), he couldn’t get into a groove.”
Seidman, who will play at Northwestern University next year, will be right back at Yale University today, albeit on the outdoor courts: he has a U.S. Open qualifier to participate in.
But he should be well-rested after making quick work of Hosokawa.
“I couldn’t really find a way. I wasn’t playing well. Congratulations to him, he played well,” said Hosokawa, the No. 2 seed from Norwalk High.
Thimineur and Einbinder, the No. 2 seed, knocked off top-seeded Taylor Ingerman and Kaitlyn Zheng of Wilton 6-3, 6-0.
Thimineur, a senior, and Einbinder, a sophomore, went undefeated this season as the Spartans’ No. 1 doubles team at 22-0. It’s the first State Open champion for doubles or singles under coach Harold Freedman, who just completed his 40th season.
“I love the way we played and the way we fought for it and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Thimineur said. “It means so much to me. I’m proud of us and happy I was able to end my senior year this way.”
Thimineur and Einbinder fell behind 3-1 in the opening set, but won the last 11 games to stun Ingerman and Zheng.
“We came here knowing not many people make it to the finals. We wanted to end it well and we wanted to play our game,” Einbinder said.
And the Stadium Court setting suited the Spartans just fine. “Just the environment made us even more pumped,” Thimineur said. “It kept our intensity alive. We were playing on a court where so many great players had played before.”
Moskovitz and Zimmerman won a grueling three-setter 4-6, 7-5 and 6-4 over No. 2 seed Andrew Pace and Dan Weinreb of Hand. The match lasted close to 2 1/2 hours.
Moskovitz and Zimmerman played singles during the season but teamed together for this postseason run. For Pace and Weinreb, both juniors and the Class L state champions, it was a good run for them as well.
“I think overall, they played a little better than us,” Pace said. “They were making more shots than us, they were playing a little stronger than us. They were close games. Hopefully, we will be back next year.”
Hand broke Staples’ serve three straight times in the first set, the last leading to Weinreb serving out the first set 6-4.
The Tigers ended up breaking the Wreckers’ serve six straight times and had a chance to serve out the match in the second set. But Staples broke back, then won the next two games, the latter on a break of serve of its own, to take the second set 7-5.
“Down a set and 5-4 is not exactly the best position to be in,” Moskovitz said. “Overall, we got more aggressive, tried to go to net more and we executed a lot better in the second and the third (sets).”
Hand broke in the first game of the third set and ended up breaking the Wreckers nine times overall. The last time came when Staples tried to serve out the match at 5-4.
But the Wreckers had the final service break in the very next game to win.
“To get broken in the first game is a tough situation to be in, but we fought back,” Moskovitz said. “I’m very happy to finish my high school career like that.”
Darien’s Kateri Martin, the top seed, won her second straight singles title, this time beating Glastonbury’s Alexandra DeNucci 6-0, 6-4. DeNucci was the No. 3 seed.