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Radnor’s Safanov earns spot in District 1 tennis quarters

Max Safanov’s quest for a spot in the PIAA tournament is guaranteed to have at least two more matches left in it.

Safanov won a pair of matches Friday at the District 1 Class 3A Singles Tournament at the Healthplex in Springfield Friday to earn a spot in Saturday’s quarterfinal round.

Safanov started with a straight-sets conquest of Phoenixville’s Graham Light, 6-0, 6-1, in the first round. He battled Council Rock North’s Matt Whalen in the second round, dropping the first set 3-6, before rallying, 6-3, 6-3, to advance. He’ll take on top seed Michael Dickson of Downingtown East.

Three of Delco’s five participants notched wins Friday, one at the expense of another. Strath Haven’s Clay Gaieski made quick work of Academy Park’s Kevin Tran, love and love, in the first round. Gaieski fell to league rival Matt Chen of Lower Merion, 6-2, 6-1, in the second round.

Upper Darby’s Brandon Caban also picked up a first-round win, a three-set marathon with Ethan Bradley of Unionville, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. Another Bradley, brother Tristan, exacted revenge on Caban in the second round, 6-2, 6-4.

Chichester’s Joey Hagel fell in straight sets to Sameer Gangoli of Great Valley, 6-0, 6-0, in his opening match.

Five of the six Central League players advanced from the first round, and three — Chen, Safanov and Lower Merion’s Matt Robinson — remain in the hunt for the five states spots. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Saturday, with the championship, consolation final and fifth-place match taking place May 13.

In the Del Val League:

Academy Park sweeps >> Kevin Tran made it back to school in time to help Academy Park down Penn Wood, 3-2 and 4-1. Tran handled business at first singles in both matches.

Phi Tang and Abdulai Gassama also won both of their singles matches, the former in a three-setter with Victor Alao in the earlier match. Penn Wood’s second doubles tandem of Steven Siv and Joseph Tholley collected points in both matches.

In the Central League:

Springfield 6, Ridley 1 >> Andrew Feng and Justin Collins recovered from dropping the first set to defeat Dominic Heydaman and Mohnad Saliman, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, at second doubles and fuel the Cougars. Mike Bonacquisti and Jacinth Chikkala claimed singles points for Springfield.

Ridley’s only win came in style via Alex Joyce at third singles with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 decision over Adam Dickerson.



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