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VX Boys Tennis Player of Year: Alex Lawson

By Mark Heller, The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.

May 31–If Alex Lawson was going to lose a set playing singles tennis this high school season, it might as well have been to a friend.

In this case, it was the Division I state championship match against his USTA hitting partner, Horizon’s Nicolas Montoya.

But after dropping that first set, 3-6, and finding himself trailing for the first time this high school season, Lawson rallied to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-0 and claim the the Division I singles state title.

In the second and third sets, Lawson simply hit winners on shots he uncharactistically missed in the first set.

“It wasn’t the first time I dropped a set to him,” Lawson said. “I’ve been in that situation before. I’d stayed pretty calm for the most part.”

Lawson and Kyle Ogren won 5A-I doubles championships in 2010 and 2009, but Ogren graduated last spring, and, in a way, Lawson did too. A switch to singles play in the state tournament was inevitable.

The Division I singles championship now makes six tennis titles in the Lawson family. His mother, Tracy, won a title at McClintock in the early 1980s, and now works at Ahwatukee Tennis Club. And his older sister, Kelsey, won two consecutive singles championships, was the 2010 Tribune Player of the Year on the girls side and now plays at DePaul.

Alex played baseball and basketball in youth leagues, but tennis stuck at age 12. And similar to Kelsey, he’s not afraid at trying his racquet in another part of the country for college for a change of pace.

By the end of the season, he was up to No. 2 in the USTA Boys 18 Southwest Section rankings. Like many players, he’s spending his summer playing more USTA tournaments. He was in Tucson last weekend and figures he’ll play in nine more between now and when school starts again.

“There’s a couple weeks off but it’s pretty ‘go’ all the time,” he said. “I like it, I don’t get bored, that’s for sure. I don’t really know what else I would do.”

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