W. Tennis Tames Princeton

Bajin extends win streak with 11-9 tiebreak victory

PERFECT SETUP
Elizabeth M. Mcmillen

Sophomore SUSANNA LINGMAN came back from a set down to win her match 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 at No. 2 singles Saturday against Penn.

The No. 18 Harvard women’s tennis team entered the weekend undefeated in Ivy play with only two matches remaining. On Friday afternoon, it made quick work of Princeton in a 6-1 victory to set up a showdown with fellow Ivy unbeaten No. 39 Penn the following day.

Although the Crimson swept the doubles point and dropped only one of its six singles matches against the Tigers, there were a few bumps on Harvard’s road to victory.

At No. 1, Princeton’s Kavitha Krishnamurthy pushed sophomore No. 42 Courtney Bergman to the limit before Bergman finally prevailed in a third-set tiebreak, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0.

The match demonstrated Bergman’s resilience, as she played at a level comparable to that she reached at the National Indoor Championships in the fall.

“Courtney played very well today,” Harvard coach Gordon Graham said. “Its good to see her return to top form.”

At fifth singles, captain Sanja Bajin nearly saw her 18-match win streak snapped, but hung on to win in another third-set tiebreak over Jessica Siebel.

“Obviously, the possibility of breaking my winning streak went through my head but I was never really scared of losing,” Bajin said.

Bajin’s undefeated streak is the longest of her career. The tenacious baseliner has anchored the Crimson all season.

“I wasn’t playing my best against Siebel, but I did what I had to do and figured out a way to win,” Bajin said. “I guess that’s all I can ask of myself.”

Bergman and Bajin had less trouble in their respective doubles matches.

The No. 34 pair of Bergman and sophomore Susanna Lingman notched a decisive 8-4 victory at No. 1. In the second slot, Bajin and sophomore Alexis Martire continued Harvard’s doubles dominance, cruising to an 8-2 win.

At third doubles, the freshman duo of Melissa Anderson and Eva Wang had one of its most solid outings of the spring, posting an 8-1 victory.

On the singles side, No. 72 Wang simply never broke a sweat in winning 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4, while No. 110 Alexis Martire blanked her opponent in the No. 3 spot.

Crimson No. 6 Anderson turned in a solid 6-3, 6-1 victory while, at No. 2, No. 101 Lingman suffered a disappointing defeat to No. 65 Neha Uberoi, 6-3, 7-5.

—Staff writer Sean W. Coughlin can be reached at coughl@fas.harvard.edu.