Parkland Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Parkland's Nick Kshatri reached the semifinals of the District 11 singles tournament. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Parkland's Nick Kshatri reached the semifinals of the District 11 singles tournament.

Kshatri reaches D-11 tennis semifinal

Thursday, May 1, 2014 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in HS Sports

The District 11 singles tournament didn't exactly go how Parkland fans would have liked to see it go, but it did provide some great moments.

The quarterfinals provided a highlight when teammates Nick Kshatri and Nate Lyman went up against each other. The result was a hard fought 6-3, 6-3 win for Kshatri that sent him into the semifinals.

"How can you complain? They played great," said proud Parkland coach Michael Hingston. "In the first match, Nate's making a name for himself and I think a lot of people took notice to what he was able to do.

"The good news is that you have two guys going deep into the tournament and I think he might have taken a little out of Nick, too, because Nick had to extend himself more than he would have liked in the first match.

"It's good for our team and certainly, good for Nate for confidence moving forward, so I was happy with that and I'm very proud of them both."

Both players acknowledged that it's a strange situation to play a teammate in this type of setting, because you're battling together all season and then have to try to beat each other.

It wasn't the first time that the two matched up against each other and may not be the last. For Lyman, a sophomore, the tournament was his first as a singles player and he has definitely opened some eyes in local tennis.

"I've played him before and he's a really great player and I'm looking forward to the matchups in the future," said Lyman. "I was number three singles this year, so I wasn't really expected to go this far and I'm definitely pleased with the way I played and I'm looking forward to going further in the future."

Kshatri may have had one of the tougher draws in the tournament, having to go up against Lyman and then take on top seeded Andrew Sinai from Freedom, who is the defending champion. He admitted that the tough match against Lyman may have taken something out of him.

"It was a little long," said Kshatri of his teammate. "We finished last and he played well, he really did, and he's going to be great for us later on in the postseason.

"When I saw I had Andrew in the semis, my expectations weren't really high and I thought I played a pretty good match, especially in the first set. The second set, I was a little gassed, but I thought I played pretty well and I'm not too disappointed."

Now, the attention turns to the doubles tournament before the team tournament gets underway and Kshatri is hopeful that his team is going to do well in both of those settings.

"We won last year, me and Igor [Ivanov], but he graduated, so I'm playing with someone new, so we'll see how that goes," said Kshatri "But I'm feeling pretty good about it."

Hingston is hopeful for the doubles tournament and believes that his team will be one of the stronger contenders in the team tournament which begins on May 6.

"I feel good," said Hingston with a big smile. "It's exciting at this time of year and no matter what happens, it sharpens us up for the team tournament and we'll see where that takes us."