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Yale Begins Season with Promising Performance at Penn Invitational

Dylan King. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity
Dylan King. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Yale men's tennis team kicked off the 2018-19 season at the Penn Invitational this past weekend, where they battled against Middle Tennessee State University, Georgetown, William & Mary and Denver. Arnav Dhingra and Michael Sun, the two youngest additions to the team, flourished with promising performances in both singles and doubles, where the duo plays together. Both players were five-star recruits and offer a bright future for the team, with Sun ranking No. 1 in New Jersey and No. 31 nationally and Dhingra ranking No. 2 in Maryland and No. 36 nationally prior to coming to Yale.

On Friday, the Bulldogs began their season by taking on the Georgetown Hoyas at 12:00 P.M. Yale battled valiantly, with junior studs Dylan King and Ryan Cheng falling 7-5 to Georgetown's Andrew Rozanov and Rohan Kamdar in a hard-fought match in the No. 1 spot. Bulldog senior and captain Nathan Brown and sophomore Alan Sou played a nail-biting match as well, before eventually losing 7-6 to Michael Chen and Ian Witmer. At the No. 3 spot, Dhingra and Sun shined, beating Hoya brothers Charlie and Will Sharton 6-4 in both of the first-years' first career doubles performance.

In singles play, the Bulldogs found their rhythm with King, Cheng, Sun and Dhingra securing convincing victories in the No. 1, 3, 4 and 7 positions respectively. King rebounded well after a tough first set, topping Chen 6-7, 6-4, 6-1, while Cheng edged Rozanov 7-6 in the first set and 6-2 in the second. The two first-years impressed again in their first career singles matches, with Sun defeating Mark Militzer 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 and Dhingra defeating Witmer 7-5, 6-3. 

Later in the day, Yale battled Middle Tennessee in doubles. The Elis offered promising results with two victories in four matches. At No. 1 doubles, King and Cheng set the tone by topping Middle Tennessee's Tom Moonen and Gonzalo Morell 6-4. After a close battle in the No. 2 position, Yale's Sou and Brown were edged by Chris Edge and Pavel Motl in a 7-6 match. Although Bulldogs Lin and Wang fell to Francisco Rocha and Daniel Stormon in the No. 4 spot, Dhingra and Sun offered another great performance in the No. 3 position with a 6-3 victory over Middle Tennessee's Stijn Slump and Max Rauch.

Yale returned to play on Saturday against a very strong William & Mary team. The Elis came up just short in their doubles matches with multiple tight finishes. Both King and Cheng, in the No. 1 position, and Dhingra and Sun, in the No. 3 position, dropped close 7-6 matches to William & Mary duo Brenden Volk and Oren Vasser and pair Tristan Bautil and Chen Ruo respectively. Lin and Wang lost 7-5 match in the No. 4 spot and Brown and Sou fell 6-3 in the No. 2 spot. King rebounded quickly, avenging his doubles loss with a convincing 6-4, 6-3 win against Volk at No. 1 singles. At the No. 2 and 4 positions respectively, both Cheng and Sun pushed their matches to three sets before eventually conceding.

In the final day of the tournament on Sunday, the Bulldogs put in an encouraging performance against their last opponent, Denver. After dropping No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, Yale responded by gaining victories in the No. 3 and 4 positions. At the No. 3 spot, Sun and Dhingra returned to form with a close 7-6 win against Denver's Daniel Krulig and Eric Morris. Bulldog duo Lin and Wang rebounded as well with a 6-3 victory over Pioneers Sean Huynh and Aaron Diemer. 

In singles, Yale had impressive supporting wins from the lower seeds as well. Sun had an especially eye-catching performance, with a dominant 6-0, 6-0 win over Diemer in the No. 4 position. Captain Brown followed suit, with a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Morris in the No. 7 position, and Wang topped fellow senior and Denver player Ignatius Castelino at the No. 5 spot in a 6-3, 7-6 match.

Despite strong opponents, the Bulldogs showed resilience in their first tournament of the year. With more experience and an extremely strong class of first-years this year, the season looks promising. Junior stud Andrew Heller, who played in the No. 1, 2 and 3 positions for singles and No. 2 and 3 positions for doubles last season, was also held out of the tournament due to injury and will look to add another spark for the Bulldogs when he returns. Reflecting on the team's play, captain Nathan Brown said the following: "Everyone had some bright spots and there were some great competitive efforts but overall the weekend highlighted what we need to improve over the rest of the fall." First-years Sun and Dhingra, who achieved a promising 3-1 doubles record at the No. 3 spot over the weekend, will look to build off strong performances in the Penn Invitational. The two combined for three singles victories at the tournament as well.

The Bulldogs appear determined to improve on last season and will continue fall play this coming weekend in the Ivy Plus tournament. After winning the main draw doubles championship last year, the team will look to develop momentum and capitalize on the opportunity to defend the title.

Report by Kiran Damodaran '21, Yale Sports Publicity

 

FULL TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Yale vs. Georgetown

Doubles

  1. Rozanov/Kamdar d. King/Cheng – 7-5

  2. Chen/Witmer d. Sou/Brown – 7-6

  3. Dhingra/Sun d. Sharton/Sharton – 6-4

  4. Cheun/Grande d. Wang/Lin – 6-3

Singles

  1. King d. Chen – 6-7, 6-4, 6-1

  2. Lee d. Sou – 6-4, 6-3

  3. Cheng d. Rozanov – 7-6, 6-2

  4. Sun d. Militzer – 6-1, 4-6, 6-2

  5. C. Sharton d. Brown – 6-2, 6-4

  6. Ross d. Wang – 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

  7. Dhingra d. Witmer – 7-5, 6-3

 

Yale vs. Middle Tennessee

Doubles

King/Cheng d. Morell/Moonen – 6-4

Edge/Motl d. Sou/Brown – 7-6

Dhingra/Sun d. Slump/Rauch – 6-3

Rocha/Stormon d. Lin/Wang – 6-2

 

Yale vs. William & Mary

Doubles

  1. Volk/Vasser d. King/Cheng – 7-6

  2. Talcott/Pellerito d. Brown/Sou – 6-3

  3. Bautil/Chen d. Dhingra/Sun – 7-6

  4. Quiros/Kelly d/ Lin/Wang – 7-5

Singles

  1. King d. Volk – 6-4, 6-3

  2. Talcott d. Cheng – 6-1, 6-7, 6-2

  3. Chen d. Sou – 7-6, 6-2

  4. Quiros d. Sun – 1-6, 6-4, 6-3

  5. Vasser d. Wang – 6-1, 6-1

  6. Pellerito d. Dhingra – 6-2, 6-1

  7. Kelly d. Brown – 6-3, 6-3

 

Yale vs. Denver

Doubles

  1. Davis/Summers d. King/Cheng – 6-2

  2. Fernandez/Ros d. Brown/Sou – 6-2

  3. Sun/Dhingra d. Morris/Krulig – 7-6

  4. Lin/Wang d. Huynh/Diemer – 6-3

Singles

  1. Ros d. King – 6-1, 6-3

  2. Summers d. Cheng – 6-4, 6-3

  3. Fernandez d. Sou – 6-0, 6-4

  4. Sun d. Diemer – 6-0, 6-0

  5. Wang d. Castelino – 6-3, 7-6

  6. Krulig d. Dhingra – 6-4, 6-1

  7. Brown d. Morris – 6-2, 6-4