Tennis: 'The Ojai' starts Thursday

It's easy for Corona del Mar High senior Alec Adamson to explain why he likes playing in the Ojai Tennis Tournament, which celebrates its 113th year this season.

"It's the legacy of the tournament," Adamson said. "The tournament's been going for 113 years, and so many great players have played and won it. It's really a privilege just to be able to go up there. It's a really special location. With all of the best players being up there from the Pac-12 at the same time, it's just a great experience, being up there with all of the other players."

Adamson is the No. 2 seed in the CIF Singles draw at "The Ojai," highlighting local high school boys' players who will be in action in the division beginning Thursday.

Adamson begins his tournament at 8 a.m. Thursday with a round of 64 match. He'll play Drew Freeman of Beverly Hills at Libbey Park. With a win, he would play either Alastair Hurry of St. Margaret's or Brendan Adams of Cleveland High in a round of 32 match at 2 p.m., at Thacher School.

"My goal is to go out and win the tournament, but I just want to go out there and take it one match at a time," said the UC Davis-bound Adamson, who reached the round of 16 at The Ojai last year. "I want to stay focused every point, and just go out there and do the best I can."

Hurry is a Corona del Mar resident. His match against Adams also is slated for 8 a.m. Thursday, at Thacher School.

The other local in the CIF Singles draw is Newport Coast resident Max Pham, who is a freshman at Fairmont Prep. He opens his tournament in the round of 64 at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, against Jackson Kogan of Windward at Thacher School.

University senior Gage Brymer, bound for UCLA, is the top seed. Brymer is trying to become the first three-time CIF Singles winner at Ojai since Bobby Riggs in 1934-36.

CdM juniors Josh Kliger and Carson Williams are the No. 5 seeds in the CIF Doubles draw. Kliger and Williams open against Leeho Lim and Harrison Zuk of La Canada, in a round of 64 match at 8 a.m. Thursday at Ojai Valley School-Upper Campus. With a win, Kliger and Williams would play a team from Garden Grove or Liberty at 12:30 p.m. at the same venue.

Newport Harbor High sophomore Reese Stalder is the No. 5 seed in the boys' 16s draw. Stalder opens his tournament against Alessandro Saglia of Ojai in a round of 64 match Thursday at 12:30 p.m., at Camp Ramah in Ojai.

Newport Beach residents Andre Saleh and Erin O'Connor are in the 14s draw. Both have round of 64 matches Thursday morning, with another match possibly to follow Thursday afternoon.

Former Corona del Mar High and UC Irvine standout Fabian Matthews also will be back in Ojai. Matthews, a CIF Doubles division champion with Dustin Hladek in 2007, is the No. 3 in the men's open division. Matthews, who is also in the open doubles competition with Javier Pulgar of Laguna Niguel, begins singles play at 8 a.m. Thursday against Alberto Reyes of Ojai. Lester Cook of Marina del Ray, a former Newport Beach Breakers player, is the No. 5 seed in the division.

Francesco Nguyen and Anthony Thai of Orange Coast College are in the community college men's doubles division. They begin against a team from L.A. Pierce in the round of 128, at Pacifica High in Oxnard. The Pirates' other doubles team, Dillon Nguyen and Andrew Pham, opens against a team from Victor Valley on Thursday at Pacifica High.

OCC's women's doubles team of Krystal Hernandez and Madelyn Koehly begins at 1 p.m. Thursday, in the round of 64 at Ventura's Camino Real Park against a team from Modesto. The Pirates' Michelle Cyrus and Mia Hashimoto open in the round of 64 against a team from San Francisco, at 3 p.m. Thursday at Ventura's Buena High.

Pac-12 teams will also be in Ojai this week to determine the league's women's singles and doubles champions, in addition to the men's team champion. The men's team championship match is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, at Libbey Park.

CIF divisions also conclude Saturday, with other divisions finishing on Sunday.

Twitter: @mjszabo

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