Men’s tennis clinches victories against No. 3 Middlebury, No. 11 Wesleyan

Ananth Raghavan ’20 won his singles matches against his Wesleyan and tough Middlebury opponents. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information.

This weekend, men’s tennis won games against Middlebury and Wesleyan.

On Sunday, the No. 5 Ephs (9-2) registered an 8-1 victory over the No. 11 Cardinals (2-5).

Doubles was strong, with the three Williams pairs winning their matches. Head coach Dan Greenberg ’08 elected to use the same pairings as he had in the match against Middlebury the day before. The decision proved to be a good one, as they took all three possible points.

This set up a low-pressure singles portion of the match, in which the Ephs took five of six matches. Each Eph win was completed in two sets.

“This caps off a great weekend for us,” Greenberg said of the day. “We beat two tough teams and saw a few things we can definitely improve this week.”

On Saturday, the Ephs played their spring home opener against the No. 3 Panthers (10-2). Last year, the Panthers were one of the Ephs’ toughest opponents in both team play and in individual tournaments. Overall, the Panthers got the better of the Ephs; Middlebury advanced further in the NCAA tournament, won both the regional singles and doubles individual titles and beat Williams 5-4 in their only match. This time, however, the Ephs flipped the script, besting the visitors 5-4 in a hard-fought match.

The Ephs relied on their doubles play to gain a huge early advantage. The men took all three matches, which needed to go beyond eight games. Deepak Indrakanti ’19 and Brian Grodecki ’18 won 9-7, but the other two groups needed to go into tiebreaks before they could close out their matches. The three-point lead proved crucial for the rest of the match, as Middlebury was tough in singles, winning four of the six matches.

Needing only two wins to clinch the match for the Ephs, Grodecki and Ananth Raghavan ’20 stepped up. They both dug deep and won long matches to finish it off. Grodecki’s win was especially significant for the Ephs, as he beat junior Lubomir Cuba, the defending NCAA singles champion. Raghavan, meanwhile, has been playing phenomenally lately, winning his fifth match in a row.

“[It was a] very tough win for us,” Greenberg commented. “We were fortunate that the three doubles matches went our way because it was tight at every spot. Grodecki dug in for a huge comeback against the defending NCAA singles champion, which set the stage for Ananth to clinch. He was rock solid in the last two sets.”

This Saturday, the men will travel to Hartford, Conn. to face Trinity at 1 p.m.

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