Trio claim city tennis titles

Three city tennis champions were crowned Sunday, and many more competitors punched their tickets to the semifinals and finals to be played later in the week.

In the boys 18-and-under division, top-seeded Anay Gangal defeated Benjamin Mathew in the championship final 6-1, 6-2. Gangal and Mathew will be part of the Columbus North tennis team in the fall.

“Ben is a really good player and I know he gets a lot of good shots so I tried not to go for winners but just keep the ball in play and let him make the unforced error,” Gangal said. “It’s always exciting playing against a teammate that you know is very good, and he’ll definitely be one of our varsity players, in my opinion.”

In the boys 16-and-under division, Jonah Rockey topped Isaac Jackson, the bracket’s top seed, 6-2, 6-4 to claim the championship. The match was much closer than the score indicated.

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“In the first set, I kept the ball in,” Rockey said. “In the second set, we had some really long points with our lob shots. (Jackson) played very well, so I had to stay patient and wait for him to hit it out.”

No. 1 seed Matthew Liu defeated Joseph Kloepfer 6-1, 6-2 to claim the boys 14-and-under division. Liu said it was all about staying consistent.

“My concentration, focus, and keeping my ground shots in really helped me,” Liu said. “My serves helped me give more time to attack.”

The girls 18-and-under division championship between North teammates Madelyn Sanders and Shweta Srinivasan was supposed to be played Sunday morning but an illness by Srinivasan postponed the match.

Sanders and Srinivasan are playing the women’s open doubles together, but their semifinal match was also postponed. They will play Lisa Nelson and Molly Crabtree, who defeated Debbie Fellers and Ann Sombun 6-0, 6-1 in the other semifinal match.

In the men’s open doubles, Michael Blevins and Matt Malinsky, who is the Columbus East girls tennis coach, defeated Rahul Jha and Ranjit Salvi 6-4, 6-4 in one semifinal match. Blevins and Malinsky will play Danny Frastaci and Michael Schoumacher, who defeated Alex Galle and JoJo Woolwine 7-5, 6-1.

The championship match is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday.

In the men’s open championship, Blevins and Anthony Sanders, a North graduate and 2014 high school state quarterfinalist, will meet in one semifinal match. Malinsky and Jha will meet in the other semifinal. Both matches will be at 5:30 p.m. today.

In the men’s B singles, Kabyle Walton beat Bill Baxter 6-2, 6-3 in one semifinal. Walton will play Tedd McEachern, who was a 6-1, 6-1 winner against Zach Henderson. The championship is scheduled for 6 p.m. today.

In the mixed B doubles, former East player Alexa Husmann-Miller and Larry Husmann downed David Clark and Ellen Guse 6-0, 6-0 in one semifinal. Matt Barbiea and Anna Barbiea defeated Dale Guse and Linda Guse 6-3, 6-1 in the other semifinal. The championship is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Dave Burnett and John Burnett defeated Tom Cote and Rob Likens 6-3, 6-2 in men’s 45 doubles. The championship is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.

In the mixed open doubles, Paige Littrell and Jody Littrell defeated Nathan Otte and Karen Dringenburg 7-6 (5), 7-5.