Alex Tran is obviously not used to any of the attention. As he walked off the court after his dominant 6-0, 6-3 showing against Skyline's Brandon Greenwood, Tran jumped when a member of the media approached and nervously stared into space while answering the reporter's questions.
It was almost like he didn't want to be bothered. Not that he could be blamed; he's never had to face any media folk before.Tran is a junior out of Taylorsville High School and Region 2's No. 1 seed in first singles in the 5A tennis tournament. A school on the "west side" of town, Taylorsville is not known for its tennis prowess. But Tran could be changing all that.
"He has as good as shot as anybody (to win the state championship)," said Tran's coach Steve Smith. "The west side hasn't traditionally been strong, but the players are just as good. We just need to get the idea that we can't compete with the east side schools out of our heads."
Using what some call the best serve in the field, Tran was able to overpower his first two opponents. In the first round, Jim Whitehead, from Copper Hills, barely was able to get his strings on the ball as Tran sprayed the ball around the court like a sprinkler, winning 6-0, 6-0.
"I'm playing pretty good right now," Tran said. "I think I have a chance to win the whole thing, but I still have to play a lot of great players."
Tran is not the only west-sider making noise. West Jordan's Manuel Dessolis is in the semifinals after a pair of wins of Friday.
"We just don't get the recognition on the west side," Smith said. "The players out here can play. People just don't notice."
Most of Friday's play was suspended because of the downpour of rain that flooded Liberty Park, so team totals have not been updated at this point. Suspended matches will be made up at 8 this morning, with the semifinals set to begin at 10. The championship matches will begin at 1 p.m.