Boys Tennis: Arocho proving he can play with the big boys
Loyola's Anthony Arocho at the Catholic League boys tennis championships in Wilmette. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 29, 2012 7:00AM
This week, plenty of coaches have flocked to Indianapolis, where many of the region’s top junior players are competing in the USTA/Midwest Section Closed Junior Outdoor Championships.
Norridge resident Anthony Arocho (Loyola Academy) competed in the 16-and-under division at the Midwest Closed. He was seeded 27th, the first time he was ranked at the tournament.
The incoming junior earned two victories in Indy, a 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Troy Weider (Perrysburg, Ohio) and a 6-3, 6-3 win over Kevin Rothstein (West Bloomfield, Mich.). Unseeded Kyle Scheffers (Dayton, Ohio) knocked out Arocho 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Though he may have exited the tournament sooner than he had hoped, Arocho said his game has never been better.
“I’m confident about what I’m going out there to do, my game plan, what works well for me,” he said. “I was trying to still figure it out last year at this tournament. I was really nervous and was not one of the top players at the tournament. I guess being higher ranked and knowing you can put players away helps your confidence.”
Arocho and doubles partner Brice Polender (Lake Bluff) were knocked out in the first round, losing 7-6, 6-3 to the Ohio team of John Delp and Manickam.
But Arocho has plenty more tennis to play this summer. Though he won’t turn 17 until February, Arocho said he plans to move up to the 18-and-under bracket for a few tournaments.
Arocho obviously has experience facing older players on the high school level. In recent weeks, he has been practicing with rated 18-and-under players Tom Fawcett and Aron Hiltzik of New Trier, at the Glenbrook Racquet Club.
“When I go to play at Glenbrook, there are older kids and bigger kids I get to hit with. That helps my game,” he said. “I play practice matches against them and gain experience. It works well.”