EDISON – Maverick Lin and Josh Marchalik know each other very well, and will get to know each other even more in the GMC first singles final.
Lin, of Highland Park, defeated Satish Kumar 6-3, 6-3 while Marchalik, of East Brunswick defeated Gokul Murugesan 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in the GMC first singles semifinal on Friday afternoon.
The two, who practice together three times a week, will face each other in the first singles final on Saturday.
It was cold and windy at Thomas Edison Park and the players had to make adjustments so their ball wouldn’t float away in the wind.
“The wind on one side of the court was more favored,” Lin said. “I had to hit harder and higher. There was a larger margin of error.”
Lin, the top seed, won his match with little trouble in two sets. After taking a year off last year, Lin proved he’s still one of the top players in the GMC.
“I moved around the court well and played my best game,” Lin said. “It was the same old, same old. I went out there and had fun.”
Marchalik, the second seed, had a little more trouble than Lin. He had to win his first set in a tie-breaker, and he felt he didn’t play his best game.
“Honestly, I thought I would play better than I did but there was tough wind, the sun was out and it was hard to see the ball without any clouds,” Marchalik said. “My serve was non-existent, my forehand wasn’t great, nothing was really going well.”
Even without his best game, Marchalik was able to prevail with a gutsy and scrappy performance against the third-ranked Murugesan.
“You have to try to make the opponent earn every point and make sure they’re winning each point and not you losing the point,” Marchalik said. “Overall I was able to compete and win because of that.”
Marchalik, the 2014 GMC singles champion, looks forward to facing Lin on Saturday. He feels Lin is the best, and he wants to compete against, and hopefully beat, the best.
“Winning again isn’t as big a deal as being able to compete against Maverick,” Marchalik said. “Winning last year didn’t mean as much because he wasn’t there, but winning this year would be a completely different story.”
The mutual respect between these two players is obvious. They’re both fierce competitors and Saturday’s final should be a close contest.
“I just need to play my best game,” Lin said. “Keep balls in and just play tennis.”
Harold Trakhman will also advance for East Brunswick. The second-seeded Trakhman defeated South Brunswick’s Shiva Alladi and will face J.P. Stevens’ Sarthak Mohanty in the third singles final.
J.P. Stevens highlighted the semi final round with their second singles, third singles, first doubles and second doubles all advancing to the final round.
Vishal Walia defeated Nick D’Amore in second singles while Mohanty defeated Gavin Huang in third singles.
Alex Telson and Gouttham Chandrasekar made up the winning J.P. Stevens first doubles team and Brian Ho and Arjun Krishnan made up the second doubles team.
First singles: 1-Maverick Lin (Highland Park) def. 4-Satish Kumar (Wardlaw-Hartridge) 6-3, 6-3; 2-Josh Marchalik (East Brunswick) def. 3-Gokul Murugesan (J.P. Stevens) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Second singles: 1-Vishal Walia (J.P. Stevens) def. 4-Nick D’Amore (Wardlaw-Hartridge) 6-1, 6-1; 2-Vijay Chockalingam (South Brunswick) def. 3-Jack Kosiorowski (St. Joseph) 6-3, 6-1.
Third singles: 1-Sarthak Mohanty (J.P. Stevens) def. 4-Gavin Huang (Warlaw-Hartridge) 6-0, 6-2; 2-Harold Trakhman (East Brunswick) def. 3-Shiva Alladi (South Brunswick) 6-2, 6-1.
First doubles: 1-J.P. Stevens (Alex Telson, Gouttham Chandrasekar) def. 4-Monroe (Cian Desai, Vikram Manisankar) 6-0, 6-1; 2-South Brunswick (Viknesh Lakshmanan, Ben Wang) def. 3-East Brunswick (Vikas Dalal, Renesh Bhamidipati) 6-0, 6-1.
Second doubles: 1-J.P. Stevens (Brian Ho, Arjun Krishnan) def. 4-Monroe (Nihal Singh, Frank Sigismondo) 6-0, 6-1; 2-South Brunswick (Prince Ghosh, Aditya Murali) def. 3-East Brunswick Anand Nanduri, Jason Xu) 6-2, 6-3.
Staff writer Daniel LoGiudice: firstname.lastname@example.org