Experience won out over youth in the finals of the men's open City Tennis singles tournament Monday as Andres Cobos, a former IPFW player, beat Leo junior Eli Herran 6-0, 6-2 at Swinney Park.
The top-seeded Cobos, 24, has won the title three years in a row.
An engineer and technician by trade, Cobos admits to not playing nearly as much tennis as he once did, but he still had a wealth of experience to draw from when the city tournament rolls around each year.
“I played college tennis so I feel pretty comfortable in my game, but it is a little bit of an unknown because I am out of rhythm and out of shape when I come here,” Cobos said. “If the matches get longer, I could lose just because I am out of shape and out of rhythm.”
After not winning a game in losing the first set, Herran fell behind 3-0 in the second set but closed the deficit to 3-2. That's where Cobos used his maturity to finish off the match and championship by winning the final three games.
“In the first set, I had pretty good first serves and that helped me stay on top of it,” Cobos said. “He played better in the second set, so it was pretty important that the game after 3-2 ... if he would won that game, the match could have been a lot closer, but fortunately I won it.”
In the finals the previous three years, Cobos beat Justin Parker (2016) and Gonzalo Vivas (2015). He lost to Josh Rifkin in 2014.
No. 4 seed Herran, 16, has lost to Cobos in his first two years in the tournament, falling in the semifinals a year ago.
“Overall, I played really well,” Herran said of the tournament. “The first three matches I played pretty solid, and coming into this one, it is completely different. I felt good, though.
“Just mentally, in that match I got frustrated because (Cobos) is so tough to play against, but in the previous matches you take away just to stay focused ... today I couldn't stay focused because there is so much going on around you. In the previous matches, I had to stay focused and I was focused, and I was able to get through it, but today I wasn't able to.”
Herran played No. 2 singles last season for Leo (18-1), which fell 4-1 in the semistate to Indianapolis North Central. The Lions' No. 1 singles player a year ago, Eli Steiner, graduated.
“You definitely have a lot more respect for the game just because they are out there just for the fun and love of the game, and it is not as intense as USTA; those tournaments where kids are getting mad and throwing their rackets ... and parents are getting into it. You learn a lot about the game and the respect for the game,” Herran said of his own experience playing in the city tournament.