Tennis: Wiregrass’ Moreno wins Mexico nationals
WESLEY CHAPEL -
Wiregrass Ranch High freshman tennis player Agie Moreno wanted to play well during Mexico’s national Olympics, the Olimpiada Nacional.
What he got was a pair of gold medals during the U16 boys tournament, capturing titles in singles and doubles.
“I couldn’t believe it when I won singles, and then winning doubles — just, wow,” Moreno said.
The 15-year-old dropped only two sets during six singles contests in Tijuana, Mexico, winning the championship match 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 (7) on May 6.
“There was his crowd and my crowd, and every time I scored, my side cheered and same with him,” Moreno said. “It was really intense every single point, especially in the tiebreaker.”
He teamed with Pablo Gurra, the top-seeded player, to win the doubles title.
“It really boosts my confidence, but it reminds me that I have to keep training,” Moreno said. “There were a lot of good players there. I wasn’t even the No. 1 seed, so I’ve still got a lot to work on.”
Moreno was born in Jalisco, a state in west-central Mexico, and his family moved to Wesley Chapel seven years ago. He picked up tennis because his father Agustin, who is the University of South Florida’s women’s tennis coach, played professionally and competed for Mexico in the Davis Cup.
“When I was 3, I was already hitting the ball,” Moreno said. “My mom would throw me the ball and I would just hit it. I was always around tennis. … I liked soccer and I still do. When I was in eighth grade I decided to focus on tennis because I thought I had more a future in it. … I think soccer helped with my footwork and stamina in tennis.”
Wiregrass Ranch boys tennis coach Dave Wilson said he wasn’t shocked to hear Moreno won two gold medals.
“His only loss as a freshman was in the No. 2 state tournament in the second round against the kid who won the state championship and he played him tough,” Wilson said. “He performed on that big stage, so I’m not overly surprised. I was happily surprised.”
Wilson said the freshman has the size, speed and strength to go far in the sport. Moreno said he wants to play in college before becoming a pro, but has another big goal to accomplish before graduating.
“I want to come back and help get Wiregrass Ranch a state title,” Moreno said. “One year, next year, I hope we can win it.”
Correspondent Kyle LoJacono can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @Kyle_LoJacono.