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First-time Mason state tennis qualifiers win it all in DI doubles

Mason freshman Emma Wagner and sophomore Pratyusha Chauduri claimed the OHSAA Division I girls tennis doubles championship after a dominant 6-0, 6-1 win over New Albany on Friday.

Indian Hill sophomore Martha Thompson took second place in the Division II singles tournament after a rematch against Bexley's Amiya Bowles. Thompson and Bowles faced off in the final at last year's state championships where Bowles took the top prize. This year saw the same outcome, Thompson lost 6-1, 6-2 to Bowles.

Journey to 1st place

Wagner and Chauduri entered the state tournament as the Southwest champions and faced the team of Violet Tuttle and Soph Uijtewaal from Hudson High School in the first round. The Comets won 6-1, 6-1 to move on to the quarterfinals.

More: See who qualified for this week's OHSAA state girls tennis tournament

The semifinal round, which kicked off Friday play, was the duo's toughest test of the day. Chauduri and Wagner had a back-and-forth first set against Libby Alderman and Tyra Butler of Worthington Kilbourne. Alderman and Butler dragged out that first set to 6-4 but Wagner and Chauduri rolled that win into the second set and won 6-1 to secure at least a second-place finish.

After a drawn-out semifinal, the final between the Comets and Richie Francois and Paige Cornelius of New Albany was a faster affair. Wagner and Chauduri quickly got out to a 4-0 start. Even with the excitement of pulling out ahead, the two underclassmen stayed focused and constantly checked in with one another. No other doubles team at the tournament gave out more high-fives to each other than Chauduri and Wagner who also competed as singles players this season.

"Singles actually helps because we're good at the back and all of that... (but) it's a little bit more fun when you play doubles rather than singles," Wagner said ahead of her finals appearance on Friday.

Their chemistry as a team shined throughout the finals as the two matched every shot sent their way. The Comets won the first set 6-0 and followed that with a 6-1 win to claim the state championship. This is the first state championship for both players.

Mason's Pratyusha Chauduri serves the ball as she and her doubles partner, Emma Wagner, compete for the OHSAA Division I state championship in doubles tennis. Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 at the Aspen Racquet Club in Wooster, Ohio
Mason's Pratyusha Chauduri serves the ball as she and her doubles partner, Emma Wagner, compete for the OHSAA Division I state championship in doubles tennis. Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 at the Aspen Racquet Club in Wooster, Ohio

Rematch leads to unfortunate repeat

Martha Thompson reached the final match of the season for the second straight year and took on a familiar foe.

"I'm proud of myself for coming back to the same place because it's hard to do it again, honestly. And I mean, I'm just amazed by how much Amiya has improved, but I'm also really proud of myself." Thompson said after her rematch ended in a loss on Friday.

Thompson's tightest win of the day came in her semifinal matchup with Caroline Boyle of Badin. Thompson knocked out the first set 6-1 before narrowly escaping the second with a 6-4 victory. That win set the Braves player up for her redemption match.

In warmups for the final, Thompson looked loose and confident as she and Bowles were the first of the championship matches to begin. Once official play began Bowles moved fast and strong, and Thompson was forced to follow to keep out as opposed to set her own pace. The match ended in two sets, 6-1, 6-2 in favor of Bowles.

Indian Hill's Martha Thompson returns a serve from her state finals opponent Amiya Bowles from Bexley at the Aspen Racquet Club during the OHSAA Division II girls tennis state championship. Friday, Oct. 20, 2023
Indian Hill's Martha Thompson returns a serve from her state finals opponent Amiya Bowles from Bexley at the Aspen Racquet Club during the OHSAA Division II girls tennis state championship. Friday, Oct. 20, 2023

After the match, Thompson stressed that she has a lot more playing to do and a lot more time to improve.

"You're always thinking towards the next thing after this. So yes, I hope to see her in the finals [next year] and then just keep doing better each year. And then maybe get the win if I can sometime."

As a sophomore currently, Thompson has a few more years to get that win, but with the way she's played in her first two high school seasons, she might have time to spare.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio state tennis: Mason duo takes DI doubles title