Rarely does tennis become a battle of cheering sections.
Charles Wright Academy’s Philip and Teddy Grenley know what is at stake this weekend at the Class 1A/2B/1B state tennis championships — an unprecedented fourth consecutive state doubles title.
So when they took center court Friday afternoon at the Yakima Tennis Club for a quarterfinal matchup against Zillah’s Jacob Clevering and Jared Ellis, they noticed 50 to 75 fans cheering on the Zillah duo.
And when Philip Grenley missed an easy overhead smash — one of the few mistakes made by the Tarriers’ standouts all day — the roars from the Leopards’ side got louder.
That is when Teddy Grenley glared at the dozen or so students who made the trek from University Place to root on the Grenleys.
“We looked at our crowd to say, ‘Beat that!’ ” Teddy Grenley said.
Oh, by the way, the Grenleys did not drop a game in either of their state victories. They will play Overlake’s Declan Daly and Pranav Harikrishnan in the semifinals Saturday morning.
“We are playing pretty well — and better together,” Teddy Grenley said. “We are better mentally prepared. Sometimes we get overexcited, and sometimes we get too relaxed. But we are really determined to win, and we are feeding off each other’s positive energy.”
The Grenley twins could face another set of brothers from their own school — Dylan and Tyler Sam — in the finals if both duos win their first match Saturday.
And now he is the lone survivor at the 4A state tournament at Columbia Basin Racquet Club in Richland.
Chan defeated Richland’s Trent Prussing, 6-0, 6-2, in the 4A quarterfinals on Friday afternoon.
The hard-hitting baseliner will face tournament favorite Jackson Suh of Issaquah in the state semifinals.
“(Chan) is playing lights-out right now,” Jefferson coach Andrew Buchan said. “We played (league tennis) in the fall, and he used the offseason to work on his game.
“It was nothing physical — it was mental. One of his weaknesses was … he lost to people who he should beat. It was just getting past the mental part of it. He has all the tools — he is a little guy, but he hits it so hard.”
Gentry, a junior, won all 24 games played in his first two matches at the Class 2A state tournament at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle.
He defeated Highline’s Martin Temprano-Gomez, 6-0, 6-0, and will face Sehome’s Max Schmotoloko in the 2A semifinals.
Gentry is vying to become the Thunderbirds’ first boys tennis state champion since Eric Rebitzer won the 3A crown in 1986.
“He looks really good,” Tumwater coach Jim Click said. “In that second match (against Temprano-Gomez), he was up against a young man with good ground strokes and service — but he just wasn’t as consistent as Ty.”