City champs / Sanders wins battle of Purdue seniors, who then team to win doubles title

Former Columbus North teammates Anthony Sanders and Rahul Jha had both been in the singles city finals before, but neither player had won.

One of the two was bound to win when they faced each other in Wednesday’s men’s open singles final at the North tennis courts. The top-seeded Sanders, who placed second in last year’s tournament, got the best of his Purdue University senior classmate and second-seeded Jha with a 6-4, 6-3 win.

“Rahul and I have played each other many, many times,” Sanders said. “We’ve played tournaments all the time, so not only just to get here, but also to play him is kind of cool.”

This was Jha’s second finals appearance since placing second in singles three years ago. A slightly injured wrist kept him from being 100 percent, but he didn’t use that as an excuse.

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The doubles final was both of their main concerns for Wednesday, anyway. Sanders and Jha came back after their singles battle to team up and beat David and Logan Snyder 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2.

“We’ve been close before,” Jha said. “From the get go we knew that doubles was going to be our first priority.”

Sanders added a third title on Wednesday night when he and his sister Madelyn were declared mixed doubles champions after Michael Blevins and Kathryn Wilson had to default.

Meanwhile, Hauser girls tennis coach Molly Crabtree and Greenwood resident Dana Scott took care of business during their women’s open doubles final beating Bev Chinn and Karen Day 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Chinn and Day were coming off a 6-3, 6-2 semifinal win against Lanette Huelson and Sally Pankratz.

Crabtree, Scott, Chinn and Day have played tennis with each other in the past, and Crabtree said they knew it would be fun, no matter the outcome. However, this tournament was the first time Crabtree and Scott played together as teammates.

“I thought for the first time we’ve ever played with each other, we did fairly well,” Scott said. “To come out with two victories after never playing with each other before, I think is fantastic. We had some ups and downs, but I think (Crabtree) played great, and we had some good moments. It was awesome.”

Jha’s father Prem Jha won the men’s B singles final, beating Kable Walton 7-6 (4), 6-4. Chinmay Rao beat Joe Fuehne 6-2, 6-4 in the men’s C singles final.

Pete Khensouri and Scott Bailey won the men’s 45 doubles final by beating John and Dave Burnett 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. The mixed B doubles champions were Tony Gambaiani and Pankratz , who defeated Chinn and Larry Husmann, 6-1, 6-1.