Fox Chapel’s Shymansky, Sewickley Academy’s Bedi capture WPIAL singles titles

Friday, May 4, 2018 | 5:18 PM

Fox Chapel's Robby Shymansky is quite familiar with Peters Township's Connor Bruce. Two of the area's top tennis players, they compete often, including at last year's WPIAL Class AAA singles championship.

Bruce won that meeting, but Shymansky got some revenge Friday afternoon at this year's WPIAL singles final. The Fox Chapel junior swept to a 6-4, 6-3 victory over the Indians' sophomore.

The players took turns blasting powerful forehands with not much play at the net. Long rallies were at a premium as were long games. In the first set, Shymansky broke Bruce in the third game and that break held up.

The second set began with second-seeded Shymansky breaking the top-seeded Bruce in the first game. He also broke him in the fifth game to take a 4-1 lead. Bruce broke right back and held his serve to make it 4-3, but Shymansky held his serve and broke Bruce for the third time to claim the championship.

“It feels good to be the WPIAL singles champion,” Shymansky said. “I felt good going into the match, and I didn't feel like the underdog. Connor is a really good player, and I feel that I'm a very good player.”

“He is a great offensive player, and I tried to wear him down and avoid making any mistakes. I think the slower surface was to my advantage.”

Shymansky didn't make any shifts in his strategy from past matches with Bruce.

“We play practice matches against each other a lot even though there's some distance from where we live,” he said. “I didn't change anything around today. I just played every point hard.”

In the Class AA championship, Sewickley Academy's Arjan Bedi defeated Thomas Jefferson's Yash Maheshwari, 6-3, 6-0.

“I'm happy with how things turned out,” said Bedi, a sophomore. “Yash was playing very well in the first set, and that was a tough win. My serve was probably the best part of my game today, and that was a big part of my win. Yash and I are friends, and we play tennis against each other a lot. I'm glad he'll be going to states.”

It was a big jump for Bedi from a doubles player last year to the No. 1 singles slot this year.

“It was an adjustment. As the No. 1 singles player, you are looked to for leadership, and there's a lot of pressure, but things turned out well.”

In the Class AA consolation match, Sewickley Academy's Nishant Purewal won 6-2, 6-2 over Indiana's Zachary Palko. He will join Bedi and Maheshwari at the PIAA singles tournament. Shymansky and Bruce are the two qualifiers in Class AAA.

In the Class AAA consolation match, Allderdice's Marcus Mitchell defeated Moon's Logan D'Angelo, 6-3, 6-4.

The WPIAL AAA and AA doubles tournaments will be held next Thursday and Friday.

Marty Stewart is a freelance writer.

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