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[Quantum League]Orange County boys tennis player of the year: Aliso Niguel’s Alex Michelsen

Update time:2021-07-23 14:20Tag:

  Aliso Niguel High boys tennis player Alex Michelsen wasn’t going to let his sore wrist stop him from facing the challenging schedule brought on by the pandemic.

  The 6-foot-3 sophomore taped and iced his wrist, took some pain medicine and set out to capture the rescheduled CIF Southern Section singles championship and the SoCal Junior Sectional Championships in the same week. The high school tournament and prestigious USTA event collided because of delays caused by the virus.

  Michelsen endured frustration as he placed second in both tournaments but he accomplished his goal of representing the Wolverines and his high school coach, Jeff Pinter.

  He also continued his swift rise on the junior tennis scene, and secured his spot as the Register’s boys tennis player of the year for 2021.

  “He’s taken a quantum leap in the (past) 12 months,” Pinter said of Michelsen, the No. 18-ranked U.S. junior and the first Aliso Niguel player to reach a CIF final. “He’s an incredible player. … He’s got an all-court game.”

  Michelsen won the USTA SoCal sectional in early November as a 16-year-old and played this year’s tournament three of the four days leading into the CIF-SS individual championships on June 16-17 in Seal Beach. The South Coast League champion stormed into the CIF singles final before losing his first game and first match of the spring in a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision to Masato Perera of San Marcos.

  “It was an amazing final,” Pinter said.

  Michelsen resumed defense of his section title the next three days, falling in the final to Learner Tien of Irvine 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-4.

  Michelsen said he couldn’t hit a “proper forehand” by the end of the week because of his sore wrist. But after getting some much-needed rest, the high school All-American is glad he tackled the demanding schedule. His chance to play CIF as a freshman was wiped out by the pandemic.

  “Playing high school and CIF is always a good experience,” said Michelsen, whose parents Sondra (San Diego State) and Erik (Redlands) played tennis in college. “It was a lot of tennis but it was fun.”

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