OV tennis prodigy steps up his game - The Explorer: Sports

OV tennis prodigy steps up his game

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Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 1:34 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

For many 12-year-olds, the opening days of 2009 might have been spent playing video games or riding new bicycles.

Oro Valley’s Robert Sebyspent Jan. 2-7 taking on older, bigger opponents in Tucson’s Copper Bowl Tennis Tournament.

Seby, ranked #1 in the Southwest in the 12-and-under group by the United States Tennis Association for three years in a row, decided to take a competitive step up, playing against 13- and 14-year-olds in the Copper Bowl.

“They were definitely more powerful, bigger, and more challenging,” said Seby. “You can’t give them any weak balls, because if you do, you won’t get the ball back.”

Seby won his first two matches against older contestants before losing in straight sets during the round of 32. The loss did nothing to affect Seby’s regional ranking, and did little to dim his enthusiasm about the tournament and tennis in general.

“(The Copper Bowl) is a lot of fun,” said Seby. “It brings a lot of atmosphere and a lot of people.”

The tournament brought more than 1,000 competitors to courts throughout Tucson. The high turnout did not stop tournament coordinator Stacy Haines from taking notice of Seby’s endeavors.

“It’s fun that he’s stepping up to 14s, and playing the bigger boys,” said Haines.

Seby is already thinking about the next chance he’ll have to play even bigger boys.

He will turn 13 this year, putting him into the under-14 category. After a season playing there, Seby plans to jump another age group, to the 16-and-under division.

Many 12-year-olds have trouble planning two minutes into the future, let alone two years, but since Seby picked up a racket at age four, tennis has been his plan. “Tennis is a lot of fun, definitely,” he said.

Hard work and practice have helped the youngster cultivate his game. That game is based on the ability to “move people around the court,” according to Seby.

Seby also looks for game tips and things to emulate in the pro ranks. Currently, he is looking toward top-rated British player Andy Murray, winner of the recent Qatar Open.

“He has very good touch, and his forehand is great,” said Seby.

Despite his study of the game, and serious and competitive nature, Seby still finds the simple pleasure in the game he’s loved since preschool.

“Tennis is great,” he said. “It’s just fun to work and practice a lot.”

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Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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