Jack Flores is headed to the state tennis championships after capturing the Section XI singles crown in thrilling fashion. The Huntington High School sophomore won his second consecutive county title after battling his way past Half Hollow Hills East senior, Abhinav Srivastava in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
Flores is one cool competitor. A shoulder injury forced the teenager to serve underhand during most of the county tournament and yet he still possessed enough of a game to vanquish Suffolk’s finest high school players.
After splitting the first two sets against Srivastava and with the score knotted at 4-4 in the fourth set, rain held up the county finals for 72 hours. In the interim, Flores rehabbed his shoulder and when play resumed he was able to resume serving overhand and win the final two games he needed to claim his second straight Suffolk title.
Flores and Abhinav, seeded No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, met in the Suffolk Division I finals with the Huntington star winning that match, too. But the Blue Devil great was pushed to the limit in the Suffolk championships and had to summon every bit of the toughness he’s known for. He was able to do just that and more.
Flores will now advance to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow on Thursday, May 31-Saturday, June 2.
The three day weather delay in finishing the third set was certainly unique. “Jack stayed focused during the layoff,” said Jamie Fishlow, Huntington’s longtime head coach. “We got him treatment on his shoulder and he did some light hitting. At that point in the match it was mostly mental and he handled the pressure well. He has worked hard to get to this point and we look forward to the state tournament.”