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Men's Tennis Loses To Williams College

By Daniel Wang
Team Member

For the second year in a row, the Williams College men's tennis team enjoyed considerable success at the Rolex New England Division III Championships, held last weekend at MIT. Just like last year, the Ephs fielded both of the singles finalists and a team in the doubles championships.

Two players from MIT fell at the hands of opponents from Williams. The best MIT result came from top singles player Sridhar N. Kosaraju '99, who reached the semifinals before losing to Williams' Keith Tonkin. Second singles player Daniel Wang 97 lost in the second round to James Frank, another Williams player.

On Friday, the first day of action, MIT had four representatives in the singles tournament and two teams in the doubles competition. At the end of the day, only Kosaraju and Wang remained.

Anit Chakraborty '99, who had played fifth singles in dual matches, almost pulled off the biggest upset of the day, against Gerry Perez of Colby College, the tournament's top seed. Chakraborty's steady play frustrated Perez, and allowed him to capture the first set, 6-2.

The second set continued in almost the same way, but Perez simply tried to keep the ball in the play, which slowed down the action. Chakraborty went up 4-2, and was a point away from being one game away from the match.

Unfortunately, Perez managed to battle back and win the second set, 6-4. Perez eked out a win in a very tight deciding set, with a 7-6 (7-1) result.

Earlier in the day, both Kosaraju and Wang advanced to the second fairly easily, with straight-set wins. Third singles player Jason Weintraub drew a tough opponent, and was eliminated by a 7-6, 6-4 score.

Both MIT doubles teams were eliminated in the first round of doubles action.

Kosaraju and Weintraub fell to a team from Bowdoin College, 6-2, 6-3. The other pair, Wang and James Matyczak '99 lost to a Wesleyan University duo, 6-3, 6-1.

Play resumed early Saturday morning, with the round of 16 singles action. On this day, the two remaining MIT players met different fates.

Kosaraju advanced to the quarterfinals with another straight set win over Dylan Stearns, a veteran player for Bates College. A few courts down, Wang was off to a good start, as he won the first set, 6-2. However, he was unable to keep up the effort, and consequently dropped the last two sets, 6-1, 5-2.

Later that morning, Kosaraju went up against Dave Weisman, of Babson College, the second seed and the highest ranked player remaining. This match, on the feature court, proved to be anything but easy for Kosaraju. Weisman constantly showed the ability to either retrieve every shot, or come up with big shots on big points.

In both of the sets played, neither one was allowed a comfortable lead. Shots that landed near the lines came from both players. Kosaraju also had shoulder problems, which affected his serving somewhat. Both of the sets went to tiebreakers, where Kosaraju was able to capture the important points.

The next day, Kosaraju faced Tonkin, a very steady groundstroker, in the finals. Kosaraju started off slowly, and lost he first set, 6-1. In the second set, he started to make more shots in the court, and won the second set, 6-2.

In the final set, though, Tonkin raced out to a 5-2 lead. Kosaraju held serve, then in the next game, had three break points against Tonkin's serve. Unfortunately, Kosaraju could not convert, and lost the game, and the match, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.

Tonkin faced teammate Andrew Fagenholz in the finals. Earlier in the tournament, Fagenholz had a three-set match in the first round, but then cruised through his subsequent round. Tonkin beat Fagenholz, 6-2,4-6, 7-6 (8-6).

Fagenholz and Rich Yung defeated Babson's Dave Weisman and Joe Ryan, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, in the doubles finals.

Until last year, MIT always had representatives in at least the semifinals of both the singles and doubles tournament at the Rolex New EnglandChampionships. The last title came in 1993, when Jay Muelhoefer '94 and Nick Tsai '94 took the double championship. For Muelhoefer, it was his last of three consecutive doubles title. The last singles champion from MIT was Manish Bhatia '93, who won the tournament in 1991.