Grodecki wins singles title at ITA New Englands

Tri-captain Brian Grodecki ’18 defeated Wesleyan’s Andrew Finkleman 6-2, 6-4 in the ITA singles final. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Men’s tennis (2–0) competed at the ITA New England Regional Championship last weekend, and tri-captain Brian Grodecki ’18 won the singles tournament.

The Ephs sent three doubles pairs and six singles competitors to the tournament, which was hosted by Middlebury. The No. 2 seed in doubles, Alex Taylor ’20 and Grodecki, defeated a Colby pair 8-2 in the first round. Taylor and Grodecki finished in second in the NCAA doubles tournament last spring, falling to Lubomir Cuba and William de Quant of Middlebury in the final. Cuba and de Quant, however, were upset in the first round on Friday. Two Eph teams fell in the first round as well.

In singles, Sachin Raghavan ’18 won his spot in the third round with decisive victories over Brandeis and Trinity competitors. Austin Barr ’21, Ananth Raghavan ’20 and Grodecki also earned victories in the first and second rounds.

“Our younger doubles teams earned leads and opportunities and played solid tennis but were just unable to close out at the end,” head coach Dan Greenberg ’08 said.

Taylor and Grodecki repeated their Friday success with two consecutive wins on Saturday to reach the semifinals of the tournament. After defeating an MIT duo 8-1, Taylor and Grodecki kept the ball rolling with an 8-3 triumph over the No. 8 seed team from Middlebury.

In singles, the Ephs finished the day with two surviving players going into the semifinals. S. Raghavan and A. Raghavan fell to the No. 1 seed and No. 5 seed, respectively.

Grodecki defeated his third-round opponent 7-5, 7-6 (7), before dispatching No. 5 seed Noah Farrell 6-3, 6-3 to finish the day. Barr overcame a Colby opponent 6-2, 6-0, before defeating No. 2 seed Steven Chen with a score of 7-5, 6-3. Barr’s victory set up a meeting with his teammate, Grodecki, in the semifinals.

“The Raghavans pushed two of the best players in Div. III singles, and Grodecki and Barr beat two of the best to get to the semifinals,” Greenberg said. 

On Sunday, Grodecki and Taylor faced off against No. 3 Luke Tercek and Grant Erken in the semifinals. After a tough battle, the Eph tandem fell 8-6 to the Bowdoin duo, which would go on to win the doubles title.

In singles, Grodecki and Barr played a close match in an all-Williams semifinal. Grodecki edged his teammate by a score of 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-4 to advance to the championship match. He then dispatched Wesleyan’s Andrew Finkleman 6-2, 6-4 to win the tournament.

“I am especially proud of Brian for taking the singles title,” Greenberg said. “He’s worked so hard these last three years, so he’s definitely earned this accomplishment. And Barr made him earn it even more, pushing him to a three-hour semifinal. I couldn’t be more excited for this group.”

The Ephs will conclude their fall season at the MIT Fall Invitational, which will be played Oct. 13-15 in Cambridge, Mass. The tournament will have a similar structure to ITA Regionals, featuring both singles and doubles play but no team competition.