Mike Clark of Baltimore defeated Tim Johnson, 6-2, 6-2, yesterday to advance to the finals of the Maryland State Hardcourt Championships at St. Paul's School.
Clark, the top seed, will play No. 2 seed Mike Castrilli today for the championship.
Leading 3-1 in the first set, Clark rallied from a 0-40 deficit to break Johnson's serve and extend his lead to 4-1.
After losing his serve the next game, Clark played more aggressively and, with the help of forehand winners, broke Johnson's serve, then held serve to clinched the first set, 6-2.
Johnson did not hold serve in the first set.
"The first set it was a little hard to see," Clark, an assistant pro at Bonnie View Country Club, said.
In the second set, Clark's forehand proved to be a formidable weapon, as he broke Johnson's serve in the seventh game with back-to-back forehand winners to go ahead 5-2 and serve out the match.
"If I'm hitting my backhand deep, my forehand is usually on," Clark said. "Once I got a lead, it was easier."
Clark served two aces in the match.