DENVER — Tom Melville gave himself quite a birthday present on Friday.
The Fairview senior advanced to the No. 1 singles final at the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament. He will face Chatfield junior Christian Holmes at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Friday is Melville's 18th birthday.
"It's just good to get through," said Melville, who finished fourth a season ago. "I played well. He played well. It's exciting."
Melville beat Arapahoe junior Tyler Landen in three sets (5-7, 6-2, 6-2) to advance to the final.
"I'm just glad I don't have to play again today," Melville said. "That was my motivation."
Holmes, meanwhile, is aiming to become the first ever singles champion from Chatfield — at any position.
"It's really cool, and there's definitely a lot of support from the school," Holmes said. "It's an awesome environment. It's really fun to play with a big crowd and get your energy from that and just be here as a team."
In the semifinals on Friday, Holmes beat Ponderosa senior Ryan Neale, 6-1, 6-2.
"I have four older brothers, so since I was born, I've been coming to the state tournament," Holmes said. "It's always been my goal to get to the finals, and, obviously, win. It's just crazy that it's actually here after all those years of watching my brothers that it's me doing it now.
"They're my best coaches and my best fans, and it's unreal that it's here now."
Holmes and Melville met earlier this season on Sept. 5, with Holmes winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
"Obviously, Tom is a big hitter," Holmes said. "I'm just going to go out and play my game and do my best."
Said Melville: "Our last match was close. He's a good player."
Team race update.
The race for the 5A team championship is down to three teams: Cherry Creek, Regis Jesuit and Fairview.
After Friday's matches, Fairview (60 points) holds a slim lead over Cherry Creek (60) and Regis Jesuit (59).
Cherry Creek is the six-time defending champion, while Regis Jesuit was the last team besides Creek to win 5A — in 2010. Fairview has never won a team title.
Cherry Creek and Regis Jesuit will meet in all four doubles finals on Saturday. Fairview and Regis Jesuit play one another at No. 2 singles, while Fairview and Cherry Creek play at No. 3 singles.
All matches begin at 9 a.m.
- No. 1 singles: Tom Melville, Fairview vs. Christian Holmes, Chatfield
- No. 2 singles: Ethan Schacht, Fairview vs. Kosta Garger, Regis Jesuit
- No. 3 singles: Andy Wu, Fairview vs. George Cavo, Cherry Creek
- No. 1 doubles: Sam Angell and Drew Hill, Cherry Creek vs. Will Dennen/Patrick Seby, Regis Jesuit
- No. 2 doubles: Stone Heyman and Nick Eidler, Cherry Creek vs. Evan Nuss and Emilio Gonzalez-Cruz, Regis Jesuit
- No. 3 doubles: Matthew McCarthy and Gabe Caldwell-Nepveux, Regis Jesuit vs. Zach Smith and Nick Svichar, Cherry Creek
- No. 4 doubles: Tyler Schoen and Devin Brownstein, Cherry Creek vs. Matthew Mahoney and James O'Connor, Regis Jesuit