Khan Twins Dominate Boys 12s in Little Rock
by Ali Jones
, 12 August 2014
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They may not yet be the most famous twins in tennis - they're only 12 years old after all - but Zane and Faris Khan certainly are making their presence known in the junior tennis circuit. So far, the blue chip brothers have altogether won four gold USTA balls, three silver and four bronze.
(left) and Faris
Khan with coach Shariq Khan (center)
courtesy, Boys' 12 Nationals
Zane, older by seven minutes and a tad taller, has the upper hand for now. He once again pulled out the decisive third set over Faris 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 at the 2014 Boys 12s National Hard Court Championship in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Three weeks ago in Winston-Salem, Zane beat his younger brother for the Clay Courts gold as well.
Twins playing against each other in the finals of a Level 1 tournament is unprecedented, so the Khans have already made history. Repeating the feat three weeks later on a different surface makes them even more exceptional.
"I'm happy," said Coach Shariq Khan, who is also the boys' uncle. "What else can I ask for? I basically tell them that we did what we needed to do at this tournament and that you guys battle it out and have fun. It doesn't matter from now on whoever wins or loses. To get to the finals is not an easy task."
Coach Khan, who played for the University of Texas San Antonio, had to set aside his own tennis aspirations to guide his nephews in their development as elite junior players. The twins will continue to train with him as well as at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton, Florida.
"There's a lot of pressure playing against each other," Coach Khan said. "That's why the match at the Clays was pretty ugly. The quality of the match was probably the worst they'd played against each other just because they're very competitive. They both want to win."
In Little Rock, the finalists seemed more relaxed.
"I felt that both boys did a pretty good job of keeping their emotions in check," Tournament Director Cindy Curtis said. "I know that for them to play each other in the finals of a national championship is a tough situation, but they appeared to rise to the occasion."
Rain forced the finals indoors, which gave 6th seed Faris a slight advantage.
"Both started off pretty close," Coach Khan said. "At 5-all in the first set they had a pretty close game, and then Zane took the set."