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    Balaji, Smith Lead 'Cats on Day Two of Big Ten Indoors

    Sidarth Balaji advanced in both singles and doubles on Saturday.

    Sidarth Balaji advanced in both singles and doubles on Saturday.

    Nov. 3, 2012

    Singles Main Draw (PDF)
    Doubles Main Draw (PDF)
    Singles Back Draw (PDF)

    MADISON, Wis. - Northwestern teammates Sidarth Balaji and Raleigh Smith will face an interesting situation on Sunday. The pair will team up to play for the doubles title at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in the morning and then will immediately square off against one another for a berth in the singles semifinals.

    The duo paired up on Saturday to take down Petr Satral and Alexander Kostanov of Wisconsin 8-3 in the doubles semifinal match. With the win, they'll take on the third-seeded team of Michael Zhu and Barrett Franks of Michigan for the championship at 8 a.m. Sunday.

    As soon as the match ends, they'll split up to opposite sides of the court for singles competition. Smith, seeded fourth, notched two straight-set wins on Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals. He took down Gils Linders of Michigan State 6-3, 6-2 before defeating Matt Hagen of Iowa 6-3, 6-1.

    Balaji, the No. 6 seed, also posted two singles wins. He needed three sets to outlast Chris Essick of Indiana 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 prior to disposing of Ross Guignon of Illinois 7-5, 6-4 for the right to face his teammate in the quarters.

    Also in action for the Wildcats, 12th-seeded Chris Jackman earned a 6-3, 6-4 win over John Patrick Mullane of Michigan State before dropping a close 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 match to third-seeded Bruno Abdelnour of Illinois.

    In addition, Alex Pasareanu fell to fifth-seeded Oskar Wikberg of Wisconsin 7-5, 6-1. Mihir Kumar had a busy day as he dropped his first match of the main draw 6-0, 6-4 to Alex Kostanov of Wisconsin, but responded in the back draw to earn a hard-fought 3-6, 6-3, (13-11) victory over Zhu of Michigan. He then notched a 6-3, 6-3 win over Iowa's Dominic Patrick to advance to Sunday competition.



    In doubles, Kumar and Pasareanu were denied a shot at Smith/Balaji in the semifinals as they fell to Satral/Kostanov 8-3 in the quarters.

    For more information on the Big Ten Indoor Tournament, visit the tournament website.


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