|Freshman Armaan Kalra won twice in his collegiate debut on Saturday|
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Sophomore Ben Biswas and freshman Armaan Kalra of the Tufts University men's tennis team advanced to the semi-final round in their flights on Saturday as the Jumbos opened their 2017-18 season at the Middlebury Invitational. Tufts' doubles pairs of sophomore Ethan Bershtein and Biswas as well as freshmen Boris Sorkin and Carl-Herman Grant also reached the semi-finals to be played on Sunday.
Biswas, seeded #1 in the 16-man C singles flight, breezed to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Skidmore's Ted Berkowitz in his opener. In the quarterfinals, Biswas topped Hamilton College's Lars Scannell 6-0, 6-1. In Sunday's semi-finals Biswas will face #4 seed Andrew Imrie from RPI at 1 p.m.
Kalra debuted for Tufts in impressive fashion, winning twice in the D singles flight on Saturday. He defeated Brandeis' Ethan Saal in the round of 16, 6-3 and 6-3. He then worked extra in the quarterfinals with a 4-6, 6-2, 10-5 victory against #4 seed Peter Martin from Middlebury. In Sunday's 1 p.m. semi-final, Kalra will be up against D #1 seed Brian Niguidula from RPI.
The singles finals in all four flights are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Sunday.
A pair of Tufts teams are still alive in the B doubles flight. Bershtein and Biswas knocked off Middlebury's Aleksandr Samets and Weston Brach in the round of 16 8-3. The Jumbo duo advanced to the semis with an 8-4 victory over RPI's Sundar Devakottai and Winston Yu. The Tufts tandem will play Middlebury's Andre Xiao and Adam Guo in the B doubles semi-finals tomorrow at 9 a.m.
Tufts' pairs will be attempting to face each other in the B doubles final. Sorkin and Grant reached the semis by defeating Brandeis' Zach Cihlar and Saal first 8-4 and then following up with an 8-4 victory against a mixed pair featuring their own teammate Danny Coran who played with Middlebury's Thorne Gregory (8-4). Sorkin and Grant face the host Panthers' Nate Eazor and Alex Vanezis in the semis on Sunday at 9 a.m. The final is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m.
Also winning for Tufts on Saturday was senior Rohan Gupte in the A singles round of 16, advancing past Skidmore's JT Wynne 6-3, 7-6 (6). Gupta lost to #1 seed and defending NCAA champion Lubomir Cuba from Middlebury in the quarters 6-4, 7-5. Sorkin won his opening singles match in the B bracket 6-2, 6-1 against Skidmore's Lucas Pickering before falling to Middlebury's Xiao 6-4, 6-2. Coran also had a nice B win by 6-2, 5-7, 10-8 scores against #3 seed Clayton Thompson from RPI. Middlebury's Vanezis eliminated Coran 6-0, 6-0.