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That sent Kristian Blagoev to Saturday morning’s fifth-place match against Kubiak. And perhaps Blagoev ran out of steam, as Kubiak won, 6-3, 7-5, to end Blagoev’s state run and his terrific season with a 30-3 record.
“I went into this tournament thinking I could win this,” Kristian Blagoev said. “Even my brother, I didn’t think there was anyone that could dominate me. I was unseeded, but I knew that my draw was easy enough (that) they would have to earn it.
“We were similar skill levels. I went in knowing that I could win, and every match I had that mentality. I was like the youngest one there, so they had all the pressure. I just had to go in and swing.”
To reach Friday’s quarterfinals, Blagoev took care of unseeded Milwaukee Marquette sophomore Graham Kunick, 6-2, 6-4, in Thursday’s first round and then upset fifth-seeded Madison West sophomore Ethan Yu via tiebreaker, 4-6, 6-1 (6), in Thursday’s second round. In Friday morning’s third round, Blagoev notched another upset, this time 6-1, 6-1 over 12th-seeded Middleton freshman Koji Heinemann.
Train in Illinois
The Blagoevs are in part trained by their father, Ivo, and they play junior tennis in Illinois at the College Park Athletic Club in Bannockburn, where Anderson said the depth of talent is greater than it is here.
Martin, who Anderson said got a perfect score on his ACT, is attending the University of Wisconsin in the fall and said he will try to walk onto the men’s tennis team there. Kristian plans to play NCAA Division I tennis after high school, where he appears poised to win a state title or more.