Crimson captain Paul Sullivan has a good chance of closing out his varsity tennis career by capturing the New England Intercollegiate tournament this weekend at Dartmouth.
Two days ago defending champion Mike Neely of Yale was the definite favorite in the tournament; the Eli star lost only to Jerry Levin of Cornell and Herb Fitzgibbon of Princeton all year, and he had beaten Sullivan last year when the Elis smashed Harvard 8-1.
But on Wednesday, Sullivan turned in the greatest match of his career to beat Neely in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. For the first time this year Paul followed his twist serve to the net, and time after time the strategy paid off as Neely fed him easy volleys.
Serve Handling Best
But it was the way Sullivan handled Neely's serve that really won the match for the Crimson star. His timing was perfect, and his shots continually landed near the tapes as he chased Neely from side to side. He varied the speed of his shots beautifully, keeping his opponent off balance.
It seems likely that Sullivan and Neely will meet again in the finals Sunday, but several players could change this. One is Bent Aasnaes of M.I.T., a tall Swedish lefthander who gave Sullivan a very close match last April. Bob Hetherington, Yale's number two man, went to the semifinals last year and could go as far again.
An outside threat to the title is Harvard's number two man, Frank Ripley. Last year Frank played brilliantly in the tournament and went to the finals before bowing to Neely, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.
The other Harvard players participating will be Doug Walter, the number four man, and Sandy Walker, number six. Walter will pair with Ripley in the doubles while Walker and Sullivan will be the other combination.