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Sacks Gets the Better of Snyder

June 01, 2003|Lauren Peterson | Times Staff Writer

Gary Sacks' body was bowed but unbroken, in sharp contrast to No. 4-seeded Garrett Snyder's serve, which was broken in the first and the last games, and three times in between.

The result was a convincing 6-2, 6-3 upset victory for the unseeded sophomore from Calabasas in the singles championship match of the Southern Section individual tournament Saturday afternoon at SeaCliff Country Club in Huntington Beach.

Leg cramps in the quarterfinals Friday and blisters on his left foot Saturday took their toll on Sacks in a grueling two-day, four-match stretch, but he surprised an unsuspecting Snyder with a strong serve and all-court style that usually is typical of the Corona del Mar senior.

"I played really well today," Sacks said. "I just saved my best for the last match, I guess. It's a really tough two days, and I'm probably going to take a few days off after this because my body is so beat up."

Snyder was beaten not only by Sacks but also his own unforced errors and six double faults that affected his serve-and-volley game.

"I'm disappointed in the final. If my serve's off, Joe Brown can beat me," Snyder said. "But I feel proud. I went the farthest of anyone from Orange County."

Snyder, who had won section doubles titles each of the previous two years, recorded the upset of the day when he beat top-seeded and previously undefeated Jeffrey Das of Fullerton Troy, 6-3, 6-4, in the semifinals in the morning.

"He was expecting a walkover. He thought he had the tournament won when he beat Das," Calabasas Coach Marc Behrman said of Snyder. "But the dark horse came through. I knew he had it in him."

Snyder disputed the idea of a letdown against Sacks, although he said the two had never met or played previously and the unfamiliarity hurt him.

"I have never seen him play, and I didn't play him very well. I just never got in a rhythm, and he played really well."

Das, the Ojai tournament's CIF Interscholastic division singles champion last month, had taken a 2-0 lead to open his semifinal match. Chipping, charging and on the offensive the rest of the way, however, Snyder won the next three games. After Das held serve to tie the set, 3-3, Snyder won eight consecutive games to close out the first set and take an insurmountable 5-0 advantage in the second.

Sacks advanced to the final with a well-played 7-5, 7-6 (6) victory over Fairmont Prep's Chip Hand, who will play at Brigham Young in the fall.

Like Das, the Ojai tournament doubles champions also were upset.

Harvard-Westlake's James Thayer and Sam Wagner, top-seeded in the doubles draw, were routed by Anaheim Canyon's sophomores Scott Hohenstein and Ryan Sandburg, 6-1, 6-2.

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