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Boys tennis: Fairview’s Brody Pinto shines in debut as solo act at state

Monarch’s Jack Reuter claims first state tournament win of career

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Fairview No. 2 singles player Brody Pinto fires a forehand during the second round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Fairview No. 2 singles player Brody Pinto tracks down a ball during the second round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Broomfield No. 3 doubles player Gunnar Christiansen tracks down a ball during the first round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Broomfield No. 3 doubles player Holden Walker fires a forehand during the first round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Boulder No. 2 doubles player Agi Willis returns a shot during the first round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Monarch No. 3 singles player Jack Reuter winds up a backhand during the second round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Fairview No. 1 singles player Luke Silverman serves during the second round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Fairview No. 1 singles player Luke Silverman hits a forehand during the first round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Monarch No. 3 singles player Jack Reuter returns a serve during the second round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Boulder No. 2 doubles player Alex Sutherland returns a shot during the first round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Fairview No. 2 singles player Brody Pinto serves during the first second of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Monarch No. 3 singles player Jack Reuter hits a forehand during the second round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Fairview No. 1 singles player Luke Silverman hits a forehand during the first round of the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

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DENVER – In each of the past two seasons, Fairview’s Brody Pinto reached the Class 5A state tournament while playing in the No.1 doubles division.

Pinto put in a lot of work over the offseason and grew to 6-foot-3, increasing his skill, athleticism and length in order to capture a singles position for his senior season. Pinto spent the 2020 preseason claiming the No. 2 singles position for the Knights and he has spent the postseason proving he was more than deserving of the big jump up the ladder.

On Friday at Gates Tennis Center, Pinto went 2-0 in his state tournament debut as a solo act. As a result, No. 2 singles’ new guy will face Cherry Creek junior Matt Batmunkh, last year’s runner-up at the position, in the semifinals on Saturday morning.

“It’s definitely different because you have to really support yourself more than in doubles because you’re out here by yourself, fighting against the opponent,” Pinto said. “It’s very tough. But I think my mental toughness today was really strong. Our mantra for state is ‘Next Point.’ Whether you hit a winner or miss an easy shot, you just move on and move on to the next point.

“That’s what I was able to focus on out there.”

In the first round, Pinto won 6-3, 6-4 over Arapahoe’s Spencer Pierpont to advance to the quarterfinals. There, he found himself in a three-set battle with Lakewood senior Michael Bennett. Despite the heat and struggling to overcome some mild dehydration, Pinto rode an early lead to victory in the third set and won the match, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2.

“I definitely started off strong, which is a good thing,” Pinto said. “During the 10-minute break before the third set in the second match, I was able to reset my mind and body a little bit too. I was on the verge of cramping so I had some pickle juice and I was able to get off to a really strong start in the third set. It was good to have that cushion there and be able to swing a bit more freely.”

Because of the coronavirus and public health guidelines, this year’s state tournament has an unusual format. There are no playback matches or consolation bracket it 2020, so it’s win or go home.

Fairview advanced to the semifinals in four of seven brackets, including at No. 3 doubles, No. 4 doubles and senior No. 1 singles player Luke Silverman, who defeated Valor Christian’s Jack Scherer, 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. The Knights ended the first of two days in third place behind Cherry Creek and overall leader Regis Jesuit, the defending champions, for the team title.

When Monarch senior Jack Reuter lost 6-1, 6-1 to Cherry Creek’s Aram Izmirian in the quarters, his senior season ended. But that wasn’t before he picked up the first state tournament victory of his career with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Arapahoe’s Tyler Rock in the first round.

“Last year I made it and I got blown out by Denver East,” Reuter said. “So it was nice to come here my senior year and get a win. It was nice to see my improvements paying off at state. It was my goal just to make it to state but then when I won regionals, I started to think I might actually have a chance to win a match at state.”

Broomfield had a pair of regional champions in senior Cameron Lupo and freshman Kai Trujillo but no Eagles reached the quarterfinals despite Broomfield also qualifying two doubles pairs for state.

Boulder qualified No. 3 singles player Nate Spillman, as well as three doubles pairs, but couldn’t advance anyone out of the first round.

The state semifinals for all divisions will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Finals are tentatively scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.