Metro’s Knight wins fourth state tennis title
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Related Story: Class 5A Boys State tennis scores
OKLAHOMA CITY — Four-time state
champion Mitchel Knight of Metro Christian
looks a lot like Jim Courier. When he
plays, he sounds a lot like Jimmy Connors.
But ask him who he patterns his tennis after,
he’ll take you more into his generation.
“Juan Martin del Potro,” Knight said after
defeating Oklahoma City
Heritage Hall’s Luke Howard
6-2, 6-4 to win the Class
4A No. 1 singles title Monday. “He’s tall. He’s
got a great serve. He’s almost just like me
with his game.”
Del Potro will take that, given Knight’s
performance Monday afternoon.
The Metro Christian senior beat Howard
with a powerful serve — his guttural “Aah!”
on that serve sounded like he was channeling
Connors — equally thunderous shotmaking,
and the occasional soft touch in the
form of lobs and drop shots.
Howard charged the net frequently and
“We used to play in juniors a lot when we
were 12 and 14,” Knight said. “We’ve been
good friends ever since. I have a lot of respect
for the guy. He’s a great player.”
Just not quite up to Knight’s level.
Maybe college players will have better
luck. Knight now packs his four singles titles
— two in the No. 2 division and the last
two in No. 1 — for Northern Colorado.
“I love to be in the mountains,” he smiled.
“I’ll study computer information systems
and then play two or three (singles) on the
“Tennis really isn’t the number one thing
in my life. It’s just something I’ve grown up
playing. I’ve played it for 11 years. I’ve always
kind of had the body and the game for
it, I guess.”
The face for it, too. Knight is a dead ringer
for a young Courier, something he can appreciate
despite the fact that at 18, he’s a lot
less than half Courier’s age.
“I’ve seen him on TV and on the senior
tour,” Knight said. “I’ve seen him walking
around in person at the U.S. Open. It’s pretty
Knight led Metro Christian’s charge toward
a 5A team championship, after the
Patriots shared 4A titles the past two years.
But Heritage Hall pulled through after sharing
the 4A crown with Metro a year ago.
The Patriots did win a second championship
to go with Knight’s, as Jason Proctor
and J.T. Tasker captured No. 1 doubles
over Heritage Hall’s Nick Harvey and Truitt
Maxwell 6-1, 6-4.
Metro’s Blake Alley was runner-up to
Heritage Hall’s Jonathan Borsky 6-1, 6-3 in
No. 2 singles.
Guerin Emig 918-581-8355
Metro Christian’s Mitchel Knight competes against Heritage Hall’s Luke Howard in Class 5A state singles at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center on Monday. PAUL HELLSTERN / The Oklahoman