Zander Chown of Mt. Ararat hits a backhand during Thursday’s practice at Mt. Ararat Middle School in Topsham. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

The high school tennis singles tournament gets under way Friday in Lewiston, and the Midcoast will be well represented.

The Brunswick girls are sending a state-best four players, including Coco Meserve, Anna Barnes, Ella Perham and Lia Rand.

The Round of 52 also will include Brunswick boys singles player Calvin Doherty and Mt. Ararat’s with Zander Chown.

Chown, who is seeded No. 10, said Thursday he will look to quell any nerves before his match Friday.

“You don’t want to be nervous or your game will suffer,” he said. “The key is to remain calm and composed and let it come naturally.”

While Chown has experience playing in the 2019 state tournament, this will be the first time that Doherty has reached this stage of the competition. 

“It will certainly be a new experience, but I’m not too worried,” the Brunswick senior said. “I really like where my game has been this season and I think I have a good shot at making a decent run.”

Chown has yet to drop a match this season. Doherty’s only defeat was a 6-3, 6-4 defeat at the hands of the Mt. Ararat standout on April 29.  

“This season has been going great, and the longer I can keep this streak up, the better the case will be,” said Chown. “Being seeded this time around just gives me another level of confidence that I will use to my advantage.”

Calvin Doherty of Brunswick winds up for a forehand during an April practice at Brunswick High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

Chown has brought his game to another level that he didn’t think could be possible at this time two years ago. 

I’ve been playing a lot of tennis and feel like I have been playing some of the best tennis I’ve ever played recently,” said the Mt. Ararat senior. “There were a few weak points in my game two years ago but hard work during the offseason has improved them dramatically.”

Like Chown, Doherty said he’s elevated his game.

“My serve has been a real advantage for me this season, and has helped me win as much as I have,” he said. 

Chown knows the tall task he has in front of him if he wants to make the run that he plans on making.

“There are some other really good players in the tournament and it’s going to be tricky to say the least,” said Chown.

Chown and Doherty cruised through the Region 3 qualifiers with ease, not dropping a set along the way. Both players say they are eager to compete in the tournament

It’s really enjoyable to play someone who can hold their own on a stage like this,” said Doherty. 

The Round of 52 and Round of 32 will conclude on Friday. The Round of 16 and quarterfinals will take place on Saturday, with the semifinals and finals occurring on Monday in Lewiston. 

Postseason action in team play is set to begin June 1, with state champions set to be crowned on June 12. 

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