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Harvard Edges Yale in Rivalry Match

Tyler Lu (photo by Alexandra Schmeling)
Tyler Lu (photo by Alexandra Schmeling)

Lu Wins Again at No. 1 Singles; Elis Secure Doubles Point in 4-2 Home Loss to Harvard 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's tennis team played its second match of the weekend on Sunday, hosting rival Harvard in a high-stakes conference clash. Having lost 4-0 to the Crimson earlier in the season, the Bulldogs came into Sunday's match determined to show their recent improvement; and although the away side ultimately came away with a 4-2 victory, the Elis can take pride in a resilient performance across the board. Notably, Yale was able to clinch the doubles point with a pair of clutch performances at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles, and top player Tyler Lu managed to remain unbeaten in conference singles matches.

Sunday's home match began with a highly competitive round of doubles. Harvard's Sebastian Beltrame and Jean Thirouin drew first blood at No. 2 doubles with a 6-1 win over Yale's Stefan Doehler and Dylan King. Yale rebounded strongly, however, with senior duo Tyler Lu and Photos Photiades taking their match 7-6 over Harvard's No. 3 team Chris Morrow and Logan Weber; this result improved the pairing's record together to 5-1 in their last six matches.  In the deciding match at No. 1 doubles, Yale's Fedor Andrienko and Alex Hagermoser fell into a 4-5 deficit and faced quadruple match point against Harvard's Kenny Tao and Brian Yeung; the veteran pairing roared back to win four straight points, however, tying up the match 5-5. In the ensuing games, Andrienko and Hagermoser played masterful tennis to break serve and ultimately clinch the doubles point for Yale with a 7-5 victory. Sunday's clutch performance marked the Yale duo's third consecutive win and their first win over a nationally ranked opponent (Tao and Yueng are currently ranked No. 60). 

After narrowly losing the doubles point, Harvard bounced back quickly with straight-set wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles. Yale's Lu restored hope for the Elis with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-4 victory over Harvard's Beltrame at the No. 1 position, improving his singles record this spring to a remarkable 14-2 (3-0 Ivy). The opposition ultimately pulled away, however, when Harvard's Yeung edged Doehler at the No. 4 spot and Tao topped Ziqi Wang 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. With Harvard having secured four points, Yale freshman Dylan King was forced to suspend his match at the No. 3 spot, where he was going toe-to-toe with Thirouin. 

Although the Bulldogs fell short of winning The Game this season, they can take solace in the fact that Sunday's performance was a dramatic improvement on the two teams' previous meeting in February. The team's doubles pairings are also showing great teamwork and will likely be a reliable asset going forward. Yale will play its next match this Saturday against Princeton; the ball is scheduled to drop at 1:00 p.m. on Yale's home courts. 

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity
 

FULL MATCH RESULTS – Harvard 4, Yale 2 

 Position

 Yale University

 Harvard University

 Winner

 Score

 #1 Singles

 #60 Tyler Lu

 Sebastian Beltrame

 Yale University

 6-2, 6-4

 #2 Singles

 Ziqi Wang

 Kenny Tao

 Harvard University

 6-4, 6-2

 #3 Singles

 Dylan King

 Jean Thirouin

 Unfinished

 

 #4 Singles

 Stefan Doehler

 Brian Yeung

 Harvard University

 6-4, 6-1

 #5 Singles

 Andrew Heller

 Andy Zhou

 Harvard University

 6-1, 6-0

 #6 Singles

 Fedor Andrienko

 Chris Morrow

 Harvard University

 6-2, 6-2

 #1 Doubles

 Alex Hagermoser 
 Fedor Andrienko

 #60 Kenny Tao 
 Brian Yeung

 Yale University

 7-5

 #2 Doubles

 Stefan Doehler 
 Dylan King

 Sebastian Beltrame 
 Jean Thirouin

 Harvard University

 6-1

 #3 Doubles

 Tyler Lu 
 Photos Photiades

 Logan Weber 
 Chris Morrow

 Yale University

 7-6