While the rest of the Harvard men’s tennis team had a weekend off from its fall tune-up season, co-captain Nicky Hu and junior Brian Yeung were thrown into the fire, competing against the top collegiate tennis players in the country at the ITA Men’s All-American Championships.
The duo traveled to Tulsa, Okla., representing the only Ivy League squad that qualified for the tournament, a feat made more impressive by the fact that Hu and Yeung just began playing together this season.
Last season, Yeung played with then-co-captain Denis Nguyen ’15 as part of the Crimson’s number one doubles tandem for much of the year. This fall, Yeung teamed up with Hu, and the pair entered the season tied for No. 37 in the ITA preseason rankings.
In the first round of the event, Hu and Yeung were set to take on Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson of Florida. But after a re-draw of the doubles bracket, the two faced down an even more formidable opponent: Texas Tech’s Hugo Dojas and Felipe Soares, seeded second in the tournament.
But the Harvard duo rose to the occasion, upsetting the senior Red Raider pair, 6-4, 6-3. Hu and Yeung moved on to the second round, where they faced Tulane’s duo of junior Chi Shan Jao and senior Dominik Koepfer, ranked 39th in the nation.
In a tightly contested battle, Hu and Yeung won the first set, 7-5, but narrowly lost the second, 7-6(5). Then in the decisive third-set tiebreak, Jao and Koepfer slipped by, 1-0(8).The rest of the Crimson roster will return to action at the ITA Regionals on Oct. 22nd in New Haven, Conn. —Staff writer Justin C. Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.