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Rogers moves into finals at 45th Big Al’s tourney

ASHLAND — Rox Rogers set himself up for another big finish Sunday after he cruised through action Saturday in the 45th edition of the Big Al’s Tennis Tournament.

Rogers will be seeking his third men’s open singles title at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the Ashland Tennis Fitness Club after the top-seeded former Ashland High product scored a 7-5, 1-6, 10-2 win over Justin Barton of Redding, California, in Saturday’s semifinals.

Rogers, who won singles titles in 2017 and ‘18, will face Austin Kische of Yreka, California, in the men’s final after the second-seeded Kische took down Samuel Kassis, 6-1, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Rogers was a two-time Class 5A state runner-up in singles at Ashland High after helping secure a doubles state title as a sophomore in 2016.

Rogers and Kische will get even more familiar later in the day as each will vie for the men’s doubles title as well after they teamed with partners to set up an unbeaten showdown at 12:30 p.m.

Rogers partnered with his father Kory to win the 2018 and ‘19 doubles championships and, after last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic, will be looking for a third straight title Sunday. The Rogers duo won 6-3, 6-2 over Stephen Wisnovsky and Kassis in a three-team round-robin Saturday.

Kische teamed with Barton to also win 6-1, 6-2 over the Wisnovsky-Kassis pairing to set up a battle of unbeatens.