Cenkner takes second at WPIALs
Mt. Pleasant's David Cenkner wasn't sure if he'd ever played tennis in blustery conditions quite like these.
"Maybe not this windy," said Cenkner, who watched the wind whip around the courts at Norwin. "It's pretty bad out here."
But the senior wouldn't blame Friday's weather for finishing second. Cenkner lost to Winchester Thurston's Daniel Goldblum in the final of the WPIAL Class AA boys singles championship.
It was Goldblum, he said, who was most influential.
"I played his style," Cenkner said, "which isn't a good thing. That's why I lost."
Cenkner lost, 6-2, 6-4. Most of the match was played from the baseline, with the two exchanging long returns. That fit Goldblum's powerful style.
"That's all he wanted to do," Cenkner said. "I probably should have closed the net a lot more times. That would have been different."
Goldblum, a senior, also won the WPIAL singles title in 2009. The Mt. Lebanon native didn't play high school tennis as a junior, instead focusing on USTA tournaments.
He too was bothered by the wind.
"The conditions made it just a dogfight out there," Goldblum said. "Everything I learned about tennis wasn't out the window but close to it. This was about who was willing to run down the most shots."
Cenkner won three times Thursday at Keystone Oaks to reach the championship match, qualifying him a spot in the next month's state tournament. The top three finishers advanced.
Cenkner also qualified for states last season when he finished third in the WPIAL.
"My game has improved so much over the past two months," he said. "It's been unreal. I'm pretty confident heading to states."