Sewickley native takes Philly tennis tournament
By Rick Shrum
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, 10:28 a.m.
The Philadelphia Open was closed easily, efficiently by Luke Ross.
Ross, 13, of Sewickley, didn't lose a set en route to the boys' 14-and-under singles championship. Five matches, five straight-set victories in his bracket of the Philadelphia Open Junior Tennis Tournament, played Aug. 10-12 at William Penn Charter School.
That included a 6-0, 6-0 rout of the No. 1 seed, Justin Chong, in the semifinals and a 6-2, 6-1 win against Adam Oscislawski in the championship, both on the final day. Ross lost only eight games in 10 sets.
"Everything was clicking," said Ross, adding that he was initially "pretty nervous ... but after I won a couple of matches, I felt confident."
An eighth-grader at Sewickley Academy, Ross has been competing in U.S. Tennis Association events for three years. He said he had won before, but this triumph "was the biggest so far."
Frank Baritot certainly was impressed. He is the instructor who works the most with Ross at the Pennsylvania Tennis Academy and Pure Athletics in Wexford. Baritot did not attend the open, but got a detailed report.
"The scores kind of shocked me, especially the 6-0, 6-0 against the top seed," he said. "Luke had shown some gains in some tournaments, but nothing compared with how he did in Philadelphia."
Baritot said Ross has been coming to his facility for only about three or four months, yet that has been long enough for the Sewickley youth to display his ample physical skills and an ideal demeanor. He does that frequently, in tennis and while competing in soccer, basketball and lacrosse at the academy.
"He's a natural," Baritot said. "Because Luke plays a number of sports, he catches on pretty quickly in anything else he tries.
"He doesn't get emotionally up or down and he isn't overwhelmed by anything. He doesn't say anything, just goes about his business and works really hard."
A 5-foot-8 right-hander, Ross said he likes "to go for the big shots, but I will play it safe if I need to."
Again, the demeanor.
The Ross family has become accustomed to athletic success. Luke's sister, Caroline, helped the Sewickley Academy girls' tennis team win a state championship last year while also taking PIAA gold in doubles. She is a freshman lacrosse player at Tufts University.
Now it's her brother's turn, although it is too early to tell how his athletic future will turn. At this juncture, he isn't favoring one sport.
When Ross does, Baritot has a vision of what will occur.
"Once he figures out his skills, I think he'll do fine in what he wants to do in athletics," Baritot said. "He knows how to compete.
"If he makes the commitment to tennis, he could play at a high level in college."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Chat with Dejan Kovacevic: Dec. 13, 2013
- Kovacevic: A great day to appreciate No. 68
- Steelers safety Polamalu finds himself in tough position
- Orpik skates with injured teammates, not expected back soon
- Uniontown man, 72, faces child porn charges
- Penn Township man accused of trying to torch home
- Woman held without bail in mailbox thefts in Shadyside, South Side
- Jeffrey Manning elected president judge in Allegheny County
- LeBeau wants to come back as Steelers defensive coordinator
- PIAA postpones Saturday’s championship games
- Co-defendant acquitted in Washington bar shooting deaths