Safran has excelled in all three seasons with Menlo tennis. Photo by Menlo School Knightbook.
By Baily Deeter.
Menlo junior Clark Safran accomplished an incredible feat on Monday, winning his match against Pinewood High School without losing a single point. Safran won both sets 6-0, meaning that he won all 48 points without slipping up once in what is referred to as a golden match.
This incredible feat, which, in some ways, can be likened to a perfect game in baseball, was a first for Safran. While the Knights were evidently the superior team, winning the overall match 7-0, Safran’s excellence was nothing short of remarkable.
Safran is a nationally ranked player, coming in at 152nd in the nation for the class of 2018. He is a four-star recruit and is clearly a phenomenal player, but even for someone of Safran’s caliber, winning every single point is incredible.
Safran was certainly aware of what was happening, but he did his best to try to focus on the winning the match. “I realized that I could possibly get a golden set when I was winning 4-0 in the first set, but I just tried to concentrate on the task at hand” Safran said. “Once I actually got the golden set, I tried to ignore the possibility of a golden match.”
He continued to excel in the second set, although he mentioned that at one point in the fifth game, he faulted on his first serve and was in danger of losing his opportunity for a golden match. However, he kept his cool, made the serve, and continued his success as he finished off the match.
A lot of the value of Safran’s feat is what it indicates about how he will fare in pressure-packed moments later in the season. “It gave me a lot of confidence in my game and my ability to perform under pressure,” Safran said. “If I get into a tight match into a good player later in the season, the knowledge that I have the ability to finish under pressure will help me later in the season.”
Safran continued the positive momentum in his next match against Harker with a 6-1, 6-3 victory in Menlo’s 7-0 sweep. The Knights will look to continue the positive momentum going forward in their next match against Nueva.