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Edina senior Nolan Ranger stretched for a backhand in the third set. He winced in pain, holding his back.

He was hurt, and the injury forced Ranger to retire in the third set, giving classmate Matthew Fullerton a solemn 2-6, 6-3, 3-1 (retired) victory Friday and a successful defense of his Class 2A singles championship in the boys tennis state tournament at the Baseline Tennis Center.

"I felt a tug in my back two games later after hurting it," Ranger said. "I lost strength and movement and couldn't continue to play."

He walked off the court shaking his head, and it wasn't a comfortable ending for his teammate and close friend either.

"It was a terrible way for it to end," said Fullerton, ranked second in Class 2A by the coaches association. "It doesn't feel complete when you win this way."

Fullerton, who beat Wayzata's Collin Beduhn 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 (3) for the title a year ago, also had to call on the trainer, in the middle set while holding a 3-2 advantage. She taped his left thumb.

"I slightly bruised it," Fullerton said. "It hurt when I put pressure on it."

Ranger, ranked sixth, came out with a little bounce in his step. The lefthander periodically smiled while winning the first set.

"The whole match I was playing lights-out," said Ranger, who is bound for Penn State. "I was playing better with every match in the state tournament."

Fullerton, however, is used to three-set matches. He had to go the distance even in his opening-round match.

"I like to dictate the tempo," said Fullerton, who is committed to Wisconsin for college. "I'm pretty calm on the court and like to be in control."

Fullerton and Ranger set up the all-Edina final with straight-sets victories in the semifinals. Fullerton beat Ashton Adesoro of St. Paul Harding 6-3, 6-1 and Ranger topped Sam Rathmanner of Mahtomedi 6-3, 7-6 (3). Rathmanner had upset Beduhn, ranked No. 1, in Thursday's quarterfinals.

"It was the best thing to happen, both of us playing in the finals," Fullerton said. "We are best friends. There isn't a better way to finish our high school careers."

In doubles, Blake's Kai Chen and Andrew Richardson rallied past Mahtomedi's Jack Allaben and Brandon Pham 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Class 1A

Rochester Lourdes senior Marjan Veldic concluded his career in style.

Veldic knocked off defending state champion and top-ranked Mounds Park Academy senior Evan Fraser 6-3, 6-4 in the singles finals at Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center.

Veldic, ranked third, had to rally for a 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over St. Paul Academy eighth-grader Zahir Hassan in the semifinals while Fraser rolled past second-ranked Osakis senior Isaac Maddock 6-4, 6-2. Maddock, who was seeded first in the state tournament, beat Veldic in the semifinals a year ago.

In doubles, St. Paul Academy's Leo Benson and Maik Nguyen topped Litchfield's Alex Draeger and Braden Olson 6-2, 6-1.