Class 1A Tennis: Aitkin’s Much falls to top-ranked player

Aitkin's James Much competed in Class 1A state tennis tournament.

James Much.

ST. CLOUD — James Much said there was no pressure on him Thursday, June, 10 during the Class 1A State Singles Tournament at St. Cloud Tech.

The pressure was all on his opponent, No. 1 ranked Clayton Haberman of Breck. Haberman displayed a level of tennis that Much said he doesn’t see in this area.

“I think I handled the pressure pretty well playing the No. 1 ranked kid in the state,” Much said. “There’s not a whole lot of pressure on you. You’re just out there to have fun and play the best that you can and see what happens.”

Haberman eliminated Much from the state bracket with a 6-0, 6-1 victory.

“I found when I was serving he had really good returns,” Much said. “I’ve never played a kid who had returns like his before. I sent some really good serves over and he would put me in a tough spot right off of my serve so I had to make some adjustments there.”


The loss drops Much’s season record to 12-11, but he said he learned a lot from just the one match.

“I would tell them to work on developing points,” Much said. “Every time he was playing against me it didn’t feel like he was reacting. It felt like every point he had a goal and an idea he wanted to execute and he would make me execute it for him.

“So I would say work on developing a strategy for each game or each point even something to beat your opponent.”

Haberman then defeated Tate Reichmann of Minnewaska 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals to advance to Friday’s semifinals.

“I’m still as happy as ever,” Much said. “It sucks that there wasn’t a consolation bracket, but I had a really great time down at state and I wouldn’t trade it for everything.”

Opening round: Clayton Haberman (Breck) def. James Much (Aitkin) 6-0, 6-1
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