Robert Cercos Gonzalez brought home the first place medal at the BAL Singles Championships this week. It is the first Singles Championship since 2006 (Z. Detweiler) for the school.
The league tournament started at Lower Moreland High School a week ago, April 3, with the first two rounds, while the final two rounds were played a week later due to weather conditions and team schedules.
Cercos Gonzalez was given the third seed in the tournament and a first round bye. His first matchup was against a strong New Hope player, Jake Masino. While the point play was strong, it was one-sided for the Dock stud. The Dock Senior won 6-0, 6-1.
A week later, the semi-final matchups began. Cercos Gonzalez was matched up with the 2-seed Josh Arno of Lower Moreland. The two had previously played a preview match at Lower Moreland in the team match. Cercos Gonzalez won that tight match, 6-3, 6-4.
In the semi-final matchup, Robert was ready to play. After getting over a hurdle of serving struggles in the first couple of games, it was a dominant performance. Cercos Gonzalez hit the back corners with preciseness and sprayed the court with winners. With a 6-1, 6-0 victory, he was on to the championship round versus Holy Ghost’s Keegan Pietrak.
The first set was full of unbelievable points. Pietrak was hitting great angles and forcing Cercos Gonzalez to sprint from corner to corner to stay in the point. Pietrak returned every powerful shot that Robert threw at him. The score did not reflect the set, but Pietrak took the first, 6-1. Robert still exuded confidence in the intermission huddle with Coach Powis, saying “It’s okay, coach. I’m going to win.” They were comfortable with the renewed strategy for the second and, hopefully, third sets.
As the crowd watching the match grew, Cercos Gonzalez stepped up his game while he and Pietrak battled in several impressive 25+ ball rallies, with Robert running and sliding from corner to corner and stunning the group watching after each incredible get. Robert won the second set 6-2. With Pietrak exhausted and confused, Cercos Gonzalez jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third and final set and went on to take the BAL Singles Championship with a 6-3 win in the final set.
After a fantastic match, the two player exchanged phone numbers in hopes of continuing this competitive match-up in their free time. However, these two will play again at Dock in a league match on April 23rd.
Cercos Gonzalez will likely go into the District One Singles Championship as the top seed on April 26 and 27 with location to be determined.