Jonathan Chu’s miraculous run through the singles draw of the men’s NCAA tennis tournament ended at the Final Four last Sunday, when the Harvard senior lost in three long sets to Baylor’s Benedikt Dorsch, the bracket’s top seed and last year’s MVP of the team draw.
The defeat was followed by another—that of Chu and doubles partner Ashwin Kumar, again in the Final Four, again in three sets, and again to a top-seeded opponent in Georgia’s Antonio Ruiz and Alex Isner.
Attempting to replicate the previous day’s 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (6) shocker over Kentucky’s Jesse Witten, the No. 3 seed, Chu began today with a 12 p.m. match against Dorsch on Stadium Court 1.
And just as he had done against Witten, Chu came out swinging, winning the first set 6-3.
It was not exactly anticipated—though Chu’s performances over the past few days had been anything but expected, even by the senior himself.
The No. 32 seed in the draw, Chu became the first Crimson player to make the Elite Eight since James Blake ’01 with a straight-sets victory over Texas’ Travis Helgeson on Friday.
And by no means projected to stand up against Witten, Chu managed a tiebreak victory against the higher-ranked opponent.
After that match, Chu predicted that today’s contest against Dorsch would “be a great experience no matter what.”
“That’s the attitude I took on the court [against No. 3 Witten],” he added, “and I’ve already done more than I could have ever imagined, so I’m just trying enjoy it and have fun.”
And after taking that first set, Chu must have been having fun.
But eventually, the wearying process of advancing to the Final Fours of both the singles and doubles draws took its toll.
“I was playing great,” Chu said, “but with all the matches and all the sets I’ve been playing, it started to catch up to me.”
It wasn’t the long hours on the courts in 90-degree temperatures, Chu stated firmly. “Weather is weather,” he said. “But with all the tennis I’ve been playing...”
Dorsch pulled away with the second set, 6-4, and he hung on to the third set by the same margin, earning his second ticket to the tournament’s finals.
“To end your college career by