Tennis blog: Competition begins in Final Four round

The state tennis tournament moved into the semifinal phase, with 12 of the 16 reigning state champions still in contention. The Final Four round must be completed by May 9. The winners advance to the championship matches, which will be played May 14 at the Berry College Tennis Center in Rome.

Class 7A: Boys – Defending champion North Gwinnett beat Norcross 3-0 to reach the Final Four, where the Bulldogs will play Walton, a 3-2 winner of Lambert. Alpharetta, a 3-2 winner over Peachtree Ridge, advanced to the other semifinal, where it will meet West Forsyth, a 3-0 winner over Dunwoody. Girls – Defending champion Walton and West Forsyth meet in the final quarterfinal match. The winner moves on to the Final Four to face North Gwinnett, a 3-1 winner over Lowndes. The other semifinal features Lambert, a 3-1 winner over Dunwoody, against Alpharetta, a 3-0 winner over South Forsyth.

Class 6A: Boys – Defending champion Johns Creek beat Buford 3-1 and will play Fulton County rival Chattahoochee, which advanced with a 3-2 win over Pope. Cambridge blanked Lakeside 3-0 and will meet the Centennial-Kell winner in the other semifinal. Girls – North Atlanta eliminated defending state champion Cambridge 3-0 to reach the Final Four, where it will play Lassiter, which beat Chattahoochee 3-2. In the other semifinal, Johns Creek will face Centennial. Johns Creek beat Pope 3-1, while Centennial eliminated Buford 3-1.

Class 5A: Boys – Defending champion Woodward Academy blanked Midtown and will play the St. Pius-Greenbrier winner in the Final Four. Northview eliminated McIntosh 3-0 in the other bracket and will meet the winner of the Blessed Trinity-North Oconee match. Girls – Northview knocked out defending champion McIntosh 3-2 in a hard-fought match and will advance to play St. Pius, a 4-1 winner over Ola. In the other semifinal, Coffee, which beat Greenbrier 3-1, will play Chamblee, a 4-1 winner over Midtown.

Class 4A: Boys – Defending champion Marist rolled past Benedictine 3-0 and will play the North Oconee-Central Carroll match in the semifinal. The other Final Four match features Jefferson at Columbus. Girls -- Defending champion Marist is back in the Final Four after beating Heritage-Catoosa 3-0. The War Eagles will face Columbus, a 3-0 winner over Bainbridge. On the other side, West Laurens defeated Central Carroll 3-1 and will play LaGrange, a 3-0 winner over Pickens.

Class 3A: Boys – Defending champion Westminster awaits the Cherokee Bluff-Coahulla Creek winner in the Final Four. The other semifinal match features Greater Atlanta Christian, a 3-1 winner over Sonoraville, against Brantley County, a 3-1 win over Oconee County. Girls – Defending champion Westminster blanked Stephens County 3-0 to reach the semifinals, where the Wildcats will play Brantley County, a 3-0 winner over Morgan County. The other semifinal features Oconee County, a 3-0 winner over Appling County, against Greater Atlanta Christian, which beat Rockmart 3-2.

Class 2A: Boys – Defending champion Lovett ousted Model 3-0 and advanced to the Final Four to play the Bremen-Jeff Davis winner. Pace Academy, which beat Lovett in the Region 6 final, advanced to the semifinal by beating Bleckley County 3-1. Pace will play the Early County-Riverside Military winner. Girls – Defending champion Pace Academy is one win away from a title defense after beating Bleckley County 3-0. The Knights will play Rabun County, a 3-1 winner over Berrien. Lovett beat Model 3-0 and will meet Bremen, a 3-2 winner over Jeff Davis.

Class A Public: Boys – Lake Oconee eliminated defending state champion Seminole County 3-1 to reach the Final Four and will play Screven County, a 3-1 winner of Trion. On the other side of the bracket, Irwin County beat Taylor County 3-1 and will meet Telfair County, a 3-0 winner over ACE Charter. Girls – Defending champion Telfair County reached the semifinals with a 3-0 win over ACE Charter and will play Commerce, a 3-1 winner over Taylor County. On the other side, Trion advanced by beating Screven Couny 3-1, and will play Seminole County, a 3-0 winner over Lake Oconee Academy.

Class A Private: Boys – Four Atlanta-area teams reached the Final Four. Wesleyan, a 3-2 winner of Landmark Christian, will play Mount Paran, a 3-1 winner over Pinecrest Academy. Paideia, a 3-0 winner over Atlanta International, will play Holy Innocents’, a 3-0 winner over Fellowship Christian. Girls -- Holy Innocents’ beat Heritage-Newnan 3-2 to the reach the Final Four and will play George Walton, a 3-2 winner over Mount Vernon. Christian Heritage beat Brookstone 3-1 and advanced to the semifinal round to play Wesleyan, which blanked Athens Academy 3-0.