In the past, Latrobe's Chad Kissell admits he hasn't paid much attention to tennis during the summer months.
A three-sport athlete, Kissell often was working on his golf or basketball game.
But over the past year, he has begun to focus more on tennis, and his hard work is paying dividends.
Last week, Kissell, a junior at Greater Latrobe, won the 18-and-under singles and doubles titles at the Fox Chapel USTA Junior Open, the largest tournament in terms of entries in the state over the past decade.
"Before this year, I didn't take it as seriously," Kissell said. "But now I'm on the court a lot. Playing day after day has gotten my game to the top level."
Kissell comes from a long line of tennis players. His mother, Kim, is an assistant coach for the Saint Vincent College women's tennis team. Chad's three older sisters -- Michaela, Joelle and Stacia -- were all high school standouts and have gone on to play collegiate tennis.
Chad is a two-time WPIAL Class AAA Section 1 singles and doubles champion, but has failed to advance past the WPIAL quarterfinals.
On his way to the singles title last week, however, he beat Upper St. Clair's Fernando Escribens in a super tiebreaker. Escribens, also a junior, finished fourth in the WPIAL singles tournament and third in the district doubles tournament.
Kissell then saw a familiar face in the singles final in Penn-Trafford's Cullen Price. Kissell has beaten Price in the section finals each of the past two years.
"We've played a lot and I've never lost to him," Kissell said. "But I didn't go into the match knowing I would win. He's a very good player and I was playing him on clay for the first time, so I didn't know what to expect.
"It was a good final."
Kissell also teamed with Ben Vinarski of Wexford to win the doubles final. Vinarski, 14, and Kissell had never played in a tournament together before, but have extensively hit together at Lakeview Athletic Club.
The pair beat Sid Rajupet and Robert Shymansky, both of Fox Chapel, in the final, 6-2, 6-4.
Kissell wasn't the only participant from the PG's East Xtra area to perform well at the tournament, which was played mostly at the Fox Chapel Racquet Club, with the courts at the Fox Chapel Golf Club, Pittsburgh Field Club and Shady Side Academy also being used.
Allderdice's Hannah Famili, who will be a senior this school year, won the girls 18-and-under singles tournament, beating rising star Maria Santilli of Irwin, 6-2, 6-3, in the final.
Famili often practices with the 13-year-old Santilli.
"I practice with her every week," Famili said. "She's such a great player. She's intense when she plays. She's just so focused."
Famili has been playing in the Fox Chapel Junior Open since she was 10 years old and was excited to win her last time in the event.
"It meant a lot to me," Famili said. "It was important for me to win since it might be my last year."
The East's third winner came at 14-and-under singles, as Turner Price, Cullen's younger brother, won the championship.
Meanwhile, Megan Wasson and Nicole Cyterski, who have starred for Oakland Catholic the past few years, are no strangers to winning at Fox Chapel. The duo, which finished second in the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA doubles tournament last year, entered the Fox Chapel Junior Open as the two-time defending 18-and-under doubles champions.
But Wasson, who graduated from Oakland Catholic in the spring, and Cyterski, who will be a senior at Oakland Catholic this season, could not complete the "three-peat," losing in the final to Fox Chapel's Laurel Shymansky and North Allegheny's Kylie Isaacs in a super tiebreaker.