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Baumgartner wins second straight tennis tournament

tennis -- Forest Grove's rising star captures a Challenger title in the 16-year-old division to go with the trophy he won last week
by: photo by Tommy Whitcomb, Brett Baumgartner of Forest Grove smacks a backhand during Sunday's championship match of the boys 16 Challenger draw.

Brett Baumgartner is done with the Challenger Division.

The Forest Grove rising sophomore won a Challenger title for the second straight week at the 'Tennis in the Grove' USTA Junior Tournament, making him eligible to compete in the more prestigious Champions Division in future events.

After taking down Robbie Unger for a championship in the boys 18-year-old draw last weekend, Baumgartner set to work winning the 16-year-old bracket on Sunday, culminating with a 7-6 (1), 6-3 triumph over Austin Pierce in the title match.

To get there, Baumgartner - who was seeded second in the Challenger draw - took out Cyrus Faridi 6-2, 6-3 in the opening round, then blasted Rick Hovelsrud 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Baumgartner then made short work of Andrew Meinert 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals before capping the weekend with his straight-sets victory over Pierce in the finals.

Meanwhile, the Champions draw of the boys 16 tournament featured some epic three-set matches, including two marathons in the semifinals.

Jackson Martin and Patrick Pisani earned berths in the finals by outlasting spirited opponents. Pisani held off Chris Erbin 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) in a shade under three hours, holding off three straight match points in the third set tiebreaker, then rallying to win. Martin, meanwhile, was in control of his semifinal match against Scott Barnett, but still needed three sets to get it done, eventually winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

In the finals, Martin made short of work of an exhausted Pisani - who also survived a marathon three-setter in the quarterfinals - to win the tournament championship with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph.

To get to the finals, Martin upset third-seeded Eric Furuya 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-5 in the tournament opener, then bested Sean Crawford 6-4, 6-2 in the quarters. Pisani, meanwhile, picked up an easy 6-2, 6-0 win over Will Cooper in round one. The youth from Woodinville, Wash., then survived a battle with Roshen Warrier in the quarterfinals, hanging on for a 6-7, 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory that propelled him into the semifinals.

In addition to the Champions and Challenger draws at the boys 16 level, there were also brackets for boys 12, girls 16 and girls 12.

Casey Schein beat top seeded Shannon Young 6-1, 7-6 (1) to win the girls 16 Champions title, while Maddie Karpinski topped Lillian Do for the Challenger crown. In that match, Do was forced to retire in the second set despite leading the entire way.

In the semifinals of the girls 16 Challenger draw, Do survived an epic battle with Hailey Sundage that lasted over three hours. Do lost the first set 2-6 then trailed Sundage 5-6 in the second set before rallying to win with a 7-2 tiebreaker. She then took a spirited third set to win the match 2-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5 and advance to the finals. Unfortunately, that match drained most of her energy, and despite leading 6-4, 2-2 in the championship match, she was forced to withdraw.

Karpinski also survived a three-set marathon in the semifinals, beating Leslie Lavine 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in two hours.

One of the most interesting matches of the day came in the boys 12 Challenger draw, where Andrew Salvador squeaked by Goutham Sundaram 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6). The match lasted two and a half hours and featured several rallies of 30 to 40 shots. Sundaram, 9 years old and hardly tall enough to change the scoreboard, held a 4-0 lead in the third set tiebreaker before succumbing to a tough series of long rallies and a missed overhead.

Other tournament winners included Lorne Bulling in the boys 12 Champions draw, and Triton Pitassi in the boys 12 Challenger draw.