Men's Tennis Drops Two of Three at Mission Valley Spring Classic

After a three-week break, the No. 49 Harvard men’s tennis team (10-8) returned to the courts this past weekend in San Diego, CA., for the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic. Entering the tournament at the No. 6 seed, the Crimson took on No. 34 San Diego (11-7), No. 46 Denver (10-6), and No. 75 San Diego State (5-9).

Harvard ended the weekend with two losses and a decisive victory on Sunday against San Diego State.

“Overall, though the results weren't always the best, we all started to improve,” freshman Christopher Morrow said. “It was really useful to play outdoor tennis. We can take our win on the last day into those matches and we are all confident of finishing the season strongly.”


The freshman duo of Morrow and Andy Zhou got things started for the Crimson on Saturday with an early 6-1 victory at third doubles. Co-captain Nicky Hu and junior Brian Yeung sealed the doubles point for Harvard, defeating their Aztecs opponents, 7-5.


With two matches still in process, three singles wins solidified the win for the Crimson. Three After an early loss in the first set, sophomore Kenny Tao came back to decisively take his next two sets for a win at third singles. Yeung followed suit, giving the Crimson the four points needed for victory. He earned his second victory of the day at fourth singles. Eking out a lead with a tiebreaker victory, he took the second set 6-4. Zhou defeated his opponent 6-2, 6-1 at fifth singles, giving the Crimson the four points needed for victory.

The Crimson’s only loss came at second singles, where co-captain Sebastian Beltrame fell to his opponent 6-3, 6-4.

“We have been slightly down, so it was nice to finally get a win over a good team,” Tao said. “I think everyone played well, and we're dangerous when that happens. Hopefully we can maintain that going into Ivy play.”


On Friday, the Crimson was unable to come back from an early deficit. Splitting the singles points 3-3, Denver’s sweeping victories at second and third doubles boosted them over Harvard.

In one of the closest matches of the weekend, Yeung won a second-set tiebreaker after losing the first set. But the second set victory wasn’t enough for a win, as he ultimately fell in a tight third set.

Harvard’s victories of the day all came in three-set matches. At first singles, Hu took the first set 6-3, but fell 6-3 in the second. He was able to recover, however, and earned a win in the third set.

At third singles, Tao came back from a 6-3 loss in the first set to dominate his opponent 6-0, 6-1 in the next two sets.

Tao won two of his three matches this weekend.

“I was pretty happen to win a few matches at the three spot,” Tao said. “I guess it’s kind of a confidence boost for me personally to know I can hang in there with the better players.”


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