Hazlett secures silver in WPIAL tennis singles

Published Apr 16, 2013 at 9:41 pm (Updated Apr 16, 2013 at 9:41 pm)

Might makes a difference in tennis. Just ask Peter Hazlett.

The Mt. Lebanon junior finished runner-up to a stronger opponent during the WPIAL singles championships. Hazlett dropped a two-set decision, 6-2, 6-1, to top-seeded Adam Blasinsky from Central Catholic in the Class AAA final played at the Lakevue Racquet Club in Valencia.

“Physically, he’s a lot stronger than I am,” said Hazlett. “Adam played better than I did. He was more competitive on my shots and my service game. He made good shots.”

In improving his own game, Hazlett made his best shot when he joined Extreme Fitness last fall. The gym membership transformed Hazlett from a skinny sophomore into a stronger competitor on the courts.

“I’ve matured,” he said with a chuckle, recalling his physique last spring. “I’ve been working out more and practicing harder and that has helped improve my game.”

Hazlett noted that recipe has also benefited his opponent, whom he had beaten regularly when the two were youngsters.

“Adam and I go way back. When we were kids, playing in 10s, I’d beat him a lot but he’s worked more on his game and he has put a lot into the sport to become a better player.”

While both players maintain national rankings, Blasinsky rates higher and Hazlett expects him to go far in the PIAA tournament set for May 24-25. Both Blasinsky and Hazlett have qualified for the event to be held at the Hershey Racquet Club.

“He will definitely go far but the draw has a lot of very good players to predict that we will meet again,” Hazlett said.

Hazlett met Blasinsky in the WPIAL finals by dispatching some strong local talent. He blanked Kyle Hicken from Chartiers Valley, 10-0, in the first round. After he slipped past Fox Chapel’s Sid Rajupet, 10-8, Hazlett outlasted Fernando Escribens of Upper St. Clair, 6-2, 6-3, in the semifinals.

After a first-round bye, Blasinsky also scored a shutout in his first competition and then beat Caleb Kramer, 6-0, 6-3, in the semifinals. Kramer had beaten Mitch Kreider of Peters Township, 10-7, and Christian Meyer from USC, 10-6, in his previous matches.

Hazlett, who was a section singles and a section doubles winner last year, now hopes to lead Lebo to the WPIAL team title. The team tournament runs from May 6-10.

The Blue Devils finished runners-up to Shady Side Academy last spring. The Indians recently handed Lebo its first loss of the season, 3-2.

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