September 21, 2012

Bulldogs Get Underway at USTA Collegiate Invitational

Brown, Faierman, Huang and Krumholz Advance to Semifinals in Singles

FLUSHING, N.Y. – The Yale men's tennis team was one of several Northeastern squads to feature players at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Friday for the Unites States Tennis Association (USTA) Collegiate Invitational.  Playing in the shadow of Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest tennis stadium in the world by capacity, the Bulldogs' players displayed some excellent tennis in singles play, with the majority of Elis winning at least one match and four of Yale's players advancing to the semifinal round of their respective draws. 

Senior John Huang, seeded No. 4 in the 'A' singles draw due to his national ranking of No. 113, started the day on a positive note for Yale by defeating Andy Nguyen of Harvard, 6-2, 6-3.  This was Huang's first singles victory of the season, having been forced to withdraw from his opening round match at the Princeton-Farnsworth Invitational due to injury.  In his quarterfinal match, he again defeated a Harvard player, Nicholas Mahlangu, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.  Ranked just below Huang in the national rankings at No. 114 is senior captain Daniel Hoffman.  Since there are only four seeds assigned per draw, Hoffman just missed out on a seeding in the 'A' draw, and as such, was drawn to play the No. 3 seed, Winston Lin of Columbia.  Lin, the No. 95 player in the nation, beat Hoffman 6-2, 6-2.

Junior Kyle Dawson, playing in the 'B' singles draw, also suffered a first-round defeat, losing to Farleigh Dickinson's Ibrahim Shams, 6-3, 6-3.  Although Yale had no players competing in the 'C' singles draw, a trio of Bulldogs participated in some of the most thrilling matches of the day in the 'D' draw.  Freshman Jason Brown, seeded No. 2, came out victorious in a hard-fought match against Brown's Jacob Laser, 6-2, 4-6, 1-0(3).  He then pulled double duty by winning another three-set marathon against Fordham's Emilio Mora, 5-7, 6-3, 1-0(7) to make the semifinals.  In doing so, Brown extends his winning streak to five matches.  Senior Zachary Dean also fought long and hard to overcome Army's Austin McCaison in a back-and-forth affair, 4-6, 7-6(3), 1-0(3).  Dean was unable to sustain his momentum, however, falling in the quarterfinal round to Princeton's Jonathan Carcione, 6-3, 6-3.  Brown's classmate, Martin Svenning, was the only one of the three to come up short in his first round match, though he nearly staged a comeback in a 7-6(5), 2-6, 1-0(3) loss to Farleigh Dickinson's Yuri Grechenko.

Two sophomores enjoyed relatively straightforward wins in the 'E' draw to make the semifinals.  No. 1 seed Daniel Faierman advanced to the semifinals with the loss of only three games.  He first defeated Fordham's Max Peara, 6-2, 6-0, and then followed up with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Fairfield's Cameron Amyot.  No. 2 seed Zachary Krumholz defeated Army's Harrison McCormack 6-2, 6-2 in his opening round match and then overcame Farleigh Dickinson's Markus Sjoberg, 6-4, 7-5.  The lone Bulldog in the 'F' draw, junior Patrick Chase, defeated a Fordham player, Michael Puntilla, 6-1, 6-4.  Chase lost his next match to Farleigh Dickinson's Peter Svarka in a scintillating encounter, 6-7(4), 6-2, 1-0(10).  Finally, junior Tommy Ratchford, represented Yale well in the 'G' draw by beating Sacred Heart's John Lopresti 6-3, 7-5.  He then fell in the quarterfinals, however, to Billy Bishop of Marist, 6-3, 6-1.

Though Yale asserted its doubles prowess at the Princeton-Farnsworth tournament, Friday was a day of mixed results for the Bulldogs in doubles.  The No. 4 seeded team of Chase and Huang was upset in the top doubles bracket by Brown's pairing of Brandon Burke and Sam Fife, 8-5.  In the next doubles flight, Faierman and Hoffman returned the favor, winning a close match to upset the No. 3 seeded duo of Nicky Hu and Kelvin Lam of Harvard, 8-6.  In the third doubles draw, Dean and Ratchford succumbed to Army's team of Sam Jang-Milsten and David Proctor, 8-5.

Several Bulldogs will be in action on Saturday, with play starting at 9 a.m at the National Tennis Center.  Huang will be contesting his semifinal match in the 'A' draw while Brown, Faierman and Krumholz will be representing Yale in semifinal matches in their respective brackets.  Faierman and Hoffman will be playing in their quarterfinal match.  In addition, two of Yale's doubles teams will be playing their opening round matches after having received byes to the quarterfinals.  The freshmen duo of Brown and Svenning are seeded No. 2 in the fourth doubles draw, while Dawson and Krumholz are seeded No. 4 in the same flight.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity