After a fall season spent largely on the road, the Harvard men’s tennis team returned home for Halloween weekend, hosting the UTR Metro Open at the Murr Center.
Though much of the team did not participate in the tournament--which was open to college players as well as local professional players--those who did participate performed well, highlighted by co-captain Alex Steinroeder’s run to the final of the Flight A draw.
The senior took down Army’s Sam Lampman, 6-4, 6-1, before besting freshman teammate Jean Thirouin, 6-4, 6-7, 1-0(9), and former Crimson tennis player Christo Schultz--a senior who has exhausted his four years of eligibility--6-4, 6-2.
He then fell to Harshana Godamanna, a local professional, in three sets.
“This tournament was just a good chance to get some guys some extra matches,” Steinroeder said. “A couple of the local guys were very good players, and it’s always good to get more competition in before the end of the fall.”
Beyond Steinroeder’s performance, senior Shaun Chaudhuri also performed well for the Crimson. After falling in the second round of the Flight A draw to Schultz, he went on to win the consolation draw, taking the final by the score of 6-0, 6-4.
Sophomore Sebastian Beltrame and Thirouin also each advanced to the second round of the Flight A draw, while sophomore Andrew Ball went down in the first round.
The tournament represented a small step in the team’s preparation for the main spring season, according to Chaudhuri.
“This was just another stepping stone for us, another way to improve in certain areas of our games,” Chaudhuri said. “Fall season is just about improving each day as a tennis player. You really have to take ownership over your own game, and put in the long hours now.
The spring season is fast approaching, though. Harvard has just one more weekend remaining in its fall season. The majority of the team will wrap up the fall at the William and Mary Tribe Invite.
Co-captain Denis Nguyen, who earned All-American honors last season, and sophomore Brian Yeung will represent Harvard at the ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
“It’s really exciting that Brian and Denis are competing [at the ITA Championships],” Steinroeder said. “And the rest of the guys will get some good competition next weekend to give us a little momentum going into the offseason.”
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