If the script goes as written Friday and Saturday at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center, Edmond North's Nate Roper and Jenks' Chase Gordon will be meeting again for the Class 6A No. 1 singles state championship.
Roper defeated Gordon 6-3, 6-2 in last year's state title match. The foes are very familiar with each other, having played at least 15 times in their careers.
Gordon had the best of Roper when they were young players in the United States Tennis Association.
“He used to beat me regularly,” Roper said. “It's only in the last two years I've had the advantage.”
They met only one previous time this season. Roper defeated Gordon in a three-set match at the Heritage Hall Tennis Tournament of Champions. It was the only match where Roper has lost a set this season.
“He pushed me further than anyone else has this year,” Roper said. “That's the closest and longest match I have had this season.”
Roper is seeking his second consecutive state title at No. 1 singles while Edmond North is attempting to win its fourth straight team championship.
Roper, who is going to walk on at Oklahoma State University next season, was a state champion at No. 2 singles as freshman.
He was the state runner-up at No. 1 singles as a sophomore, losing to former Putnam City North standout Chris Haworth, who will be his teammate at OSU next season.
This year, Roper has reeled off eight tournament wins and is the heavy favorite to repeat as state champion.
“I think I have improved (from last year), both mentally and physically,” he said.