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Niels Hoffmann from Corona del Mar through to the semi-finals boys tennis CIF Individuals

Niels Hoffmann from Corona del Mar through to the semi-finals boys tennis CIF Individuals


Corona del Mar Junior High Niels Hoffmann is the top singles seed at the CIF Southern Section Individuals Boys Tennis Tournament.

He is now two wins away from his older brother Bjorn, who won the singles title in 2016.

Brothers each winning CIF titles would be an absolute rarity, but it would be special for the younger Hoffmann, who was already a CIF doubles finalist last year with teammate Jack Cross.

It would be super cool, said Niels. I mean, [dont want to] count my chickens before they hatch… but there would be a cool acquaintance behind our plaques. We hang them at home, so it would be great if they hung next to each other.

Niels seemed focused and relaxed on Wednesday, as the tournament was reduced to the final four at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont. The Surf League singles champion made it through his two matches with ease.

He defeated Burbank’s Amrith Kodumuri 6-1, 6-1 in the round of 16, before defeating Palos Verdes’ Will Lokier 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

It’s okay, Hoffmann said. It’s good to stay focused on people you might think you can beat. I feel like I did, so it was a success.

Corona del Mar Junior High Jonathan Hinkel, left, and sophomore Roger Genc advanced to the doubles round of 16 on Tuesday.

Corona del Mar Junior High Jonathan Hinkel, left, and sophomore Roger Genc advanced to the doubles round of 16 on Tuesday.

(Matt Szabo)

Hoffmann, the Ojai singles finalist, will play No. 4 seed Avery Tallakson of Woodbridge in the semifinals at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Claremont. Palos Verdes Peninsula No. 2 Sean Ferguson will face David James Brownlee of Claremont in the other semi-final, with the title match on the horizon.

Hoffmann, a USC commit, has split two games against Tallakson so far this season. He lost to Tallakson in a tiebreaker in a non-competitive game in Woodbridge, but defeated him 6-4, 3-0 (retired) in the semifinals of the CIF/USTA Southern California Regionals tournament last weekend.

It was a great game, he came out well, Hoffmann said. He is definitely a formidable foe.

Heading to the University of New Mexico, Tallakson denied an all-CdM semifinal by beating Cross 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

I couldn’t get a rhythm because he was pushing so hard, Cross said. I thought he actually played really well, and I just couldn’t get a rhythm. He puts so much pressure that I feel like I have to come up with all these shots. The times I got chances I felt like I had to win them, so it’s just hard with a lot of pressure.

Cross had survived against Caleb Settles of Claremont, 6-4, 7-6, in the round of 16.

CdM’s doubles team of junior Jonathan Hinkel and sophomore Roger Genc also won one game on Tuesday. They defeated Kayvon Kasravi and Ethan Nguyen of San Marino 6-1, 6-3 in the round of 32 before falling to No. 4 seed Chris Koeberle and Kyle Shigekawa of Peninsula 6-2, 6-3 in the round of 16.

Hinkel and Genc couldn’t hold onto a 3-0 lead in the second set and lost to the peninsula for the third time this season.

The third time the charm, Hinkel said. I thought we’d get them this time. Overall I thought they just played a really good game. We could certainly clean up some little things on the net and be a little more aggressive. But they are a really good team.

Hinkel and Genc narrowly won the Surf League title this year, saving five match points in a semi-final victory over a team from Marina before rallying to defeat Fountain Valley’s Alan Ton and Colin Nguyen in the title match.

Still, they finished the season with a very solid 35-8 record, Genc said.

We’ve had a lot of tight games and I think we were lucky they went our way, Hinkel said. Were happy to be here.

Ton and Nguyen fell in the CIF Individuals doubles round of 32 against Charlie and Joey Friedman of San Marcos, 6-4, 6-4.




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