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Sitaram, Allan-Schledorn Win Titles

September 19, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's Anant Sitaram and the doubles team of Brandon Allan and Kai Schledorn both earned titles on Sunday during the final day of the Middle Tennessee Fall Invitational at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Center.

Sitaram won a singles title for the second time in three years, this time taking the A2 singles bracket with a straight-set victory over Vanderbilt's Andy Mack. Sitaram won the opening set, 6-4, but fell behind 3-0 and 4-1 in the second set before battling back. The Hyderabad, India, native won the final five games of the match.

"I got back to my strengths from [two years ago], using more strategy than trying to overpower a guy," Sitaram said. "I thought I did that well in the whole tournament and executed during the final match. [Using more strategy] was my goal for the tournament and winning was a bonus."

Allan and Schledorn picked up where they left off last year, winning 8-6 in the finals over teammates Andreas Siljestrom and Marco Born. Allan and Schledorn, ranked 19th in the ITA Preseason Poll, broke Born's serve twice early in the match and had little trouble on serve until the final game, needing four match points before finally putting it away.

"Our games just compliement each other well. We both like to serve and volley in singles and I think the faster pace of doubles and our return game bodes well for us," Allan said.

Schledorn says winning the tournament prepares them for a pair of upcoming events, the Southern Intercollegiate Championships next week in Athens, Ga., followed by the Icy Hot/ITA All-American Championships the following week in Chattanooga, Tenn.

"Winning gives us more confidence, especially since we haven't played together in four months," Schledorn said. "We picked up where we left off in the spring."

Siljestrom and Born lost in the finals, but had a convincing victory in the semis over South Alabama's 12th-ranked duo of Fero Babej and Clinton Jacobs, 8-2. The 6-foot, 9-inch Siljestrom and 6-foot-, 7-inch Born present opposing doubles teams many problems because of their height.

"It's a big advantage with our serve. We want to hold serve and get breaks somehow, and our height helps us fit together well as team," Born said. "We just need to get to know each other more, get more match experience together."

In other play Sunday, 63rd-ranked Siljestrom got off to a slow start and never was able to recover versus seventh-rated Babej in the A1 singles finals, dropping a 0-6, 3-6 decision. In Flight Two doubles, Greg Pollack and Sitaram won the title with a default.

The Blue Raiders return to action at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships next week in Athens, Ga., at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

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