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Kennedy grad wins French Open title

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Those who know Scott Lipsky say he is a man of few words. Lipsky, who grew up in Merrick and graduated from Kennedy High School in Bellmore, has never been one to boast or complain. And that, in large part, was the secret to the 29-year-old’s success at last week’s French Open, at which he won the mixed doubles title at this Grand Slam event.

His resiliency in the face of any challenge was what kept him going through the ups and down of his tennis career and what ultimately brought him to the mixed doubles finals at the French Open on June 2, his past coaches say.

Alongside Australian partner Casey Dellacqua, Lipsky defeated the top-seeded Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia to win his first Grand Slam title.

The duo entered the match unseeded, a Cinderella story in the making. Wining their first set in a tiebreaker 7-6(6), the team struggled in the second set and lost 4-6. With their momentum behind them, Lipsky and Dellacqua fell behind 6-4, but they never counted themselves out. Forcing a tiebreaker, the pair went on to win six of the last seven points, the match and the French Open title.

Before the title

Lipsky attended Birch Elementary School in Merrick and Merrick Avenue Middle School. By the time he entered his freshman year at Kennedy, he was already a nationally and internationally ranked tennis player. Yet, when former Kennedy coach Alan Fleishman first met Lipsky, he had no idea of the youngster’s tennis accomplishments. Lipsky didn’t tell Fleishman about them; his teammates did.

It is rare to find a nationally ranked teen willing to play for his high school team and rarer still for one to play all four years of high school, but that’s exactly what Lipsky did.

“My first impression of Scott was his maturity,” Fleishman said. “I guess this is because he had been playing tournaments for years and had learned how to focus on the task at hand.”

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