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Chen leads Cardozo over Townsend Harris again

Chen, the Judges top doubles player has had four different partners during his four years playing tennis for Cardozo and hasn't lost a doubles match since his freshman year. On Tuesday he and Ben Phillip defeated Michael Malhame and Sotiris Georgiou 10-3 in No. 1 doubles to help the Judges beat Townsend Harris 3-2 at Queens College.Coach Howie Arons hasn't lost a league match since 1985 when Forest Hills beat Cardozo. He probably also hasn't seen a match in his 29 years coaching at the Bayside school since he famously stands outside the fence during the matches, pressing a cell phone to his ear and pacing up and down the veranda."I get too intense," he said. "I try not to watch and I do my coaching in practice. In practice I can yell and scream, but I can't do that out here."Chen uses his time in practice to become familiar with his new partner. Last year he was teamed with Steven Nieman, who moved up to No. 3 singles this season, leaving Phillip to fill the opening. Phillip moved up from No. 2 doubles."I don't really mind playing with new people every year," said Chen, who has won the PSAL doubles title the last two years. "I look at it as a challenge. You have to adopt to your new partner and it allows to combine our games, so that we're better."Asked if there was any pressure playing with someone who hasn't lost a match in nearly four years, Phillip shrugged his shoulders and laughed."Playing with him is easy because he makes it easy," he said. "There isn't any pressure at all. It's fun actually playing with someone who is so talented."Townsend Harris won the top two singles matches, but lost their No. 3 singles and both doubles matches. Ari Gayer defeated sophomore Jai Yoon 10-4 in No. 1 singles, opening up speculation that Ari Fiul, the No. 2 singles for Cardozo, who lost 10-4 to Sean Doerfler might displace Yoon in the top spot. The two will meet in practice next week to decide, Arons said.Cardozo's Djonvi Santos and Roman Ashmyan defeated Gabriel Felder and Wai Lon Wong 10-4 in second doubles. Townsend Harris had never beaten Cardozo in the history of its school. Last year the Hawks lost to Cardozo in the city championships. "It's frustrating," said second year Hawks coach Robin Figelman. "We win all of our matches except the ones against Cardozo. We didn't dig deep down enough. Either we didn't want it enough or they were just better than we were."Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by E-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.

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