by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
WAKEFIELD — Wakefield High School tennis player Bo Boyden has added another title to his list of tennis accomplishments.
A junior, Boyden, teamed with sophomore Nick Stachowiak of Middle Creek High School to win the boys United States Tennis Association (USTA) 16’s national doubles title, played Aug. 22-24 at Wake Forest University.
They defeated Grayson Broadus and Henry Gordan 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to claim the championship. Boyden and Stachowiak lost just four games, heading into the semi-finals, where they beat Jacob Walker and Jason Kros 6-1, 6-4.
After losing the first set in the finals, Boyden said he knew he and Stachowiak could still win.
“We were confident we could win after losing the first set,” Boyden said. “We were not playing our best but I knew as soon as we collected ourselves we would rise to the occasion.”
Boyden said they played a fairly sloppy first set mainly because of nerves.
“While on the bench during the set break, we discussed how we knew we could win and to just play loose and hit out on the ball,” Boyden said.
“I started out with a big hold to start off the second set and we just kept the momentum from there,” he added.
The strategy to win, he said, was to hit their spots on the serve and try and get a lot of free points just by the serve.
“We also really focused on getting into the net and being aggressive,” Boyden added.
While Boyden and Stachowiak teamed together, they have also been rivals on the court.
The two dueled in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A mens individual state tennis championship finals this past May.
Stachowiak defeated Boyden 6-1, 6-2 for the title.
“Playing with Nick is great,” Boyden said. “He’s fun to play with because he’s a great competitor and really knows what he’s doing out there.”
Boyden and Stachowiak train together, which Boyden said helps because they get to play more together as a team.
The two also played together in the Tarheel qualifier, where they finished second.
“It was our first time playing together so it was a little hard at first trying to adapt to each other’s game,” Boyden said. “But we soon got the hang of things and started playing some very good doubles.”
Boyden and Stachowiak were awarded a gold ball, which is presented to the winners of USTA national tournaments.
“We won four matches prior to the final,” Boyden said. “We played great each match and got better every time we went out there.”