April 17, 2024

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IE Varsity’s All-Area Boys Tennis: Claremont’s David James Brownlee is the Player of the Year

3 min read
IE Varsity's All-Area Boys Tennis: Claremont's David James Brownlee is the Player of the Year

The junior reached the CIF-SS singles semifinals with a regular-season singles record of 31-3.

David James Brownlee of Claremont had a chance to shine in the doubles competition at the CIF Southern Section Individual Championships last year, and he did so by making it to the Round of 16 with partner Caleb Settles.

In the current year, Brownlee, also known as D.J., got his chance in singles competition.

The junior won IE Varsity Boys Tennis Player of the Year after reaching the singles semifinals.

“He’s just solid,” Coach Kathy Settles of Claremont said. “He works hard, plays a lot of tournaments, and spends a lot of time on the court because he is confident in his ability to compete with these (top) players.”

Brownlee had a record of 31-3 in singles during the regular season, with one loss coming to Corona del Mar’s Niels Hoffmann, the eventual CIF-SS singles champion, in the Ojai Tournament.

Claremont and Corona del Mar met in the quarterfinals of the sectional team playoffs for the Open Division. Despite Brownlee winning two of three matches and losing just to Hoffmann, Claremont fell to the eventual runners-up 12-6.

When it came to the CIF-SS singles tournament, Brownlee had previously finished second in the Palomares League to Caleb Settles. When he got out of his sectional, he won his first match to move on to the Round of 16, where he would take on No. 3-seeded Yorba Linda resident Mason Bui.

When Bui withdrew, Brownlee benefited. He then defeated King’s Ronith Sreem 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals, where he fell to Peninsula’s Sean Ferguson.

“He was a little lucky with the draw because the seed he was supposed to play with withdrew, but you still need to win matches to advance. D.J. and everyone else are good at this level. played today like he belonged,” At the conclusion of the CIF-SS singles competition, Kathy Settles said.

Since last year, Brownlee believes his game has gotten better.

“Definitely, my game has improved. My forehand has definitely gotten better,” Brownlee said. “In contrast to my forehand, I relied more on my backhand last year because it was a stronger shot. I gave my forehand a lot of effort. It’s now definitely my stronger shot because I worked to make it better.”

That improvement, in Brownlee’s opinion, was demonstrated by his quarterfinal victory.

“I was working on my forehand and in that match, my forehand really showed,” he said.

He wants to keep getting better and will work on his footwork and transition from baseline to net as well as increasing his visits to the net.

When playing doubles, which he does at USTA competitions with Flintridge Prep student Jeremy Sieben as his partner, he believes he might perform better.

“I usually win doubles matches. My serve does well in doubles,” he said.

Brownlee is, however, prepared to act in the team’s best interest.

“Whatever I can to help the team, I’ll do it,” Brownlee said. “I’ll give it my all, singles or doubles.”

Despite not having made any firm commitments just yet, he is receiving interest from colleges and still has one year of high school left.

That might be a wise decision, as more offers are certain to come as Brownlee’s tennis stature continues to rise.

Reference: www.pressenterprise.com

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