"The goal up here is one round at a time," Ricker said of "The Ojai," which is North America's largest amateur tennis tournament. "Ojai singles, everyone is good."
Simon, a senior bound for Stanford on academics, opens his tournament at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at The Thacher School against William Halsted of Thacher. If Simon wins his first round he could face league opponent Ruthwick Pathireddy of Whitney later on Thursday. Simon defeated Pathireddy, 6-4, in the teams' league match Tuesday.
Simon, who lost his first match at Ojai last year, said he always appreciates playing in the tournament.
"I want to have a strong showing and represent Sage well out there," Simon said. "The coolest thing about it is that Ojai, that town, they really welcome you for the three or four days you're there … I remember going to some sandwich shop and the Stanford team walked in. [I was] in complete awe. It's just this awesome, electric tennis atmosphere."
Two local doubles teams also are in action in the CIF doubles draw. CdM seniors Alex Murray and Zach Williams open in the round of 64 against David Rodriguez and Nolan Schuler of Bakersfield Christian, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at The Thacher School. Sage Hill's team of Alex Manolakas and Eric Magliarditi open against Alexander Yee and Nick Sweetman of Newbury Park, also at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Villanova School of Ojai.
Ricker said Murray and Williams are 20-1 as a team this season. They have a goal of making it to Saturday, which would mean at least the semifinals.
Manolakas has experience in Ojai; last year he and Andrew Kurzweil got to the third round of the CIF doubles division.