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KYUSUNG GONG, STAFF
Corona del Mar's Bjorn Hoffman will see if he can capture the Ojai Tournament title that barely eluded him a year ago. 'He's playing well,' CdM coach Jamie Gresh said. 'Obviously, there's some good players in his bracket, but he's capable of making a good run. He's in good form.'

CdM's Hoffman ready to make another run at Ojai title

STAFF WRITER

Corona del Mar’s Bjorn Hoffmann played inspired tennis en route to a championship-match appearance in the Ojai Tournament last April, ultimately walking away with the silver medal in what’s annually regarded as the state’s premier high school tournament.

The Sea Kings senior will have another opportunity at the coveted Farnam Cup, though, as the 116th edition of the tournament begins Thursday morning at Ojai's Libbey Park.

With last year’s champion, Michael Genender, now in the collegiate ranks, and Los Alamitos’ Riley Smith and Palos Verdes’ Brandon Holt both playing in the men’s Open Division, Hoffmann enters as the lone singles player in the 64-person bracket to reach championship Saturday a year ago.

“He’s playing well,” CdM coach Jamie Gresh said of Hoffmann. “I just got off the courts with him and he’s serving big. He’s one of guys in the hunt. Obviously, there’s some good players in his bracket, but he’s capable of making a good run. He’s in good form.”

Despite a runner-up finish last April, Hoffmann was not awarded one of the top four seeds in this year’s singles bracket, a byproduct of him not competing in as many USTA-sanctioned tournaments as some of his counterparts.

If he avoids stumbling in his first three matches, the Sea Kings could end up facing top-seeded Jacob Brumm (Torrey Pines) in Friday afternoon’s quarterfinals.

“That kid’s tough as nails,” Gresh said of Brumm, a junior ranked top-15 nationally in his class.

On the doubles side, CdM will also trot out a tandem capable of making headlines in brothers Pedro and Diego Fernandez del Valle.

While they have not been paired as a duo during the high school season, Pedro and Diego do have a history of playing in doubles tournaments, and as Gresh said, a string of wins is more than attainable if the brothers can play calm and composed.

“They just have to get into the tournament, win their first round match tomorrow and go match by match from there,” Gresh added. “There’s teams from all over, so we don’t know everyone. But Pedro and Diego are a talented team, and it’s just a matter of them being on same page.”

Beckman’s Axel Stern and Joshua Yoo tandem has the capability of making a run, as does the JT Joens-Tommy Wang duo from University.

First- and second-round play will begin Thursday at Libbey Park, and the round of 16 and quarterfinals will be played Friday.


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