Hayden’s Hunter brothers prepare for state tennis tournament

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Blake and Tommy Hunter are two of the top tennis players in Kansas but the Hayden duo said it’s difficult to face one another on the court.

“It’s definitely a lot harder,” Blake Hunter, Hayden junior, said. “There’s a lot more emotion involved in the match, and then he’s also my younger brother so that’s also tough.”

“You can’t even imagine how it feels, because if you win it you feel good for yourself, but you also hurt for your brother,” Tommy Hunter, Hayden freshman, said.

That’s how the last several matches went for Blake and Tommy.  After losing the first matchup of the season, Tommy has beaten his older brother four times in a row.

“Well lately it’s been kind of rough especially for me,” Blake, said.

“The big part is that I’m the younger brother, and that makes it harder for the older brother, obviously because they have a lot more of the pressure when you go out and play,” Tommy, said.

It’s tough for the brothers, but it’s also not easy on the rest of the family either.

“The best way to describe it, is you’re kind of walking on egg shells,” Tina Hunter, Blake and Tommy’s mother, said. “That’s what it is.”

For coach, it’s a similar position as a parent.  Anytime Hayden plays Hayden or Hunter plays Hunter there are no losers in his mind.

“As crazy as it sounds, when I’m watching them, and when they play, I really think the winner is all of us that get to witness it,” James Sandstrom, Hayden Head Tennis Coach, said. “It is great tennis to watch.”

Blake and Tommy begin their quest for a Class 4A state title on Friday in Wichita.

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