After the men's tennis match with Columbia Saturday, the Harvard team members sat in coach Dave Fish's office stuffing their faces with rich brownies and sumptious chocolate cake that had been birthday gifts to Fish. But it was earlier in the day that Fish received the present he really wanted: his squad crushed Columbia, 7-2, on the Soldiers Field courts.
Playing outdoors at home for the first time this season, the Crimson swept all six singles matches without dropping a set against a Lion squad seriously depleted by the loss of four of its top 1978 players.
Eric Fromm, Columbia's 1978 number one has turned pro and is reportedly getting "killed" on the European circuit. Two Australian Lions had to be stamped "return to sender" for financial and academic reasons; and the team's top 1979 player, Jeff Papell, was lost to a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder.
Harvard's Andy Chaikovsky, at number two, came back from a disappointing straight-set loss to Steve Berliner of Penn on Friday to trounce Joe Perez, 6-2, 6-4. Playing outside in a cross-court wind, Perez could not take advantage of a Chaikovsky serve weekened a sore shoulder. And Chaikovsky's passing shots and judicious lobs helped him dictate the play and win with little trouble.
Greg Kirsch continued his string of fine play in a 6-3, 6-0 match at number four. His Columbia foe, Jerry Rubin, couldn't handle Kirsch's big spin serve, which bit into the outdoor courts and--helped by the wind--jumped up and out to the right.
Kevin Shaw collected his second match in two days, a healthy sign after a string of three consecutive losses. The wind neutralized the best part of Shaw's game--his big serve and overhead--but the Crimson captain adapted and took the match, 6-2, 6-4.
Curley, playing for the first time since a bout with bronchitis, belittled Bob Zinna, 6-3, 6-0.
The Crimson dropped two of three 10-game-pro-set doubles battles. One of those losses came when Shaw's serve skipped through the net under the tape for a double fault at 4-4 of a tie-breaker.
Columbia may have been thankful for that one stroke of luck. They would, however, have needed many more double faults to give the Crimson even a hint of trouble.