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The State Tournament

If you are good enough to qualify for the state tournament, you probably know a bit about tournaments, so I won't go into much detail.  Here are two things to know.  The state tournament is far more organized than the district tournament, and all info on state can be found at

Honestly, what you probably need to know is how to get there!  Here is some information.

Simply put, you are most likely to qualify for state if two things are true:

  1. You are one of the best 12 players in the league (being top 4 is almost necessary for singles)

  2. You can play both singles and doubles effectively.

Easy, right?

2019 State Qualifiers.jpeg

In some leagues, being one of the top 12 is very difficult.  In the Three Rivers League and Metro League, there are a few mega-stars, plus 5-8 superstars who were ready to play college tennis as freshmen in high school.   Spots 8-12 are usually earned by players who work hard throughout their high school careers and probably got good enough to play in college.

In other leagues, mega- and superstar players are pretty rare.  In these leagues, qualifying for state is much easier.  But don't mistake that to mean that it is easy.  Even in a small league like the Pacific Conference with only 7 teams, less than 2 players per team go to state.  There will be some weak teams who may not qualify anyone, but that still leaves only 2 - 3 players on average per team.

What's the best way for Sherwood to qualify several players for state?  Practicing hard against our own team as much as possible.  Having other good players to practice with (and taking that practice seriously) is a great asset that lots of other players in the league don't have.  Practice singles.  Practice doubles.  Practice hard.
Your goal:  Get good enough to beat the #1 player at almost every school in the league.  If you do that, your chances of going to state skyrocket - especially if you've worked hard with teammates and have good choices for strong doubles partners.

Once you've reached state, make sure you have set your goals appropriately.  If you've played at the #1 singles spot in the tough leagues or in USTA tournaments, you probably have a good idea what's out there.  If you haven't done that, the state tournament will be your first opportunity.  I'll give you a quick spoiler - there are quite a few very good players out there, especially in the singles draw.  A lot of the players who qualify for state have focused on tennis since they were young, while most players at the league league level started between the ages of 12-14 and play tennis as a second sport.  Celebrate the fact that you've earned the right to play at this level, play hard and enjoy the experience.  If you've gotten good enough to win matches there, congratulations!  If you don't win, look at it as getting your foot in the door to the next level of tennis.  After the state tournament, you'll have seen what's out there and know that you've reach a fun new level of the game - but that means there is more work to do.

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