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Men’s Tennis Continues Push Towards Ivy Title

The Harvard men's tennis team continued its run this weekend, besting two league rivals.
The Harvard men's tennis team continued its run this weekend, besting two league rivals. By Sarah G. Erickson
By Lauren K. Choy and Daniel Hochberg, Crimson Staff Writers

The No. 12 Harvard men’s tennis team (17-5, 3-0 Ivy) continued its strong showing in conference play this weekend, besting the No. 72 Yale Bulldogs (10-8, 1-1) on Friday, 5-2, and Brown Bears (5-15, 0-2) on Sunday, in a 7-0 sweep.

Harvard 5, Yale 2

The Crimson started off its weekend strong against Yale, dominating its longtime rival 5-2. Harvard put itself further along the path to a third-straight Ivy League title with the big conference win.

The match opened with the Crimson cleaning up in doubles. The top pairing of juniors David Lins and Danny Milavsky was absolutely dominant in their match. They took down the Bulldogs’ duo 6-2 to put Harvard ahead in the race for the doubles point. Sophomore Masato Perera and senior Alan Yim continued their set of strong performances, sealing the first point for the Crimson. Their match was harder fought, but Yim and Perera pulled out a 6-4 win regardless.

Thrust into action on court six, Perera opened the floodgates for the Crimson. His opponent, Roee Benya, never stood a chance in a 6-2, 6-2 loss. Perera has done a fantastic job as a spot starter this season, playing in nearly all seeds to a 10-6 record.

Senior Ronan Jachuck continues to impress down the home stretch. He secured yet another big win for Harvard on court three, defeating Eric Li of Yale 6-1, 6-3. Following a dominant first three seasons, Jachuck has really turned it on to cap off his collegiate career.

“The team was really focused top to bottom last weekend. There’s so much talent in the Ivy League so we need to be sharp to start every match and we came out with great intensity in both matches,” Jachuck said. “Against Yale, I thought we used our home court advantage really well and used the fans to steal the momentum when Yale was making a push on a few courts. We’ve played a lot of matches this year and this weekend I think it showed. We stuck to our game plans and executed on the big points.”

The Bulldogs returned the favor, clinching an important win that allowed it to stay alive, albeit for just a moment longer. Harvard’s Milavsky fell 6-4, 6-2 to Yale’s Theo Dean, unable to notch wins in both the singles and doubles arenas.

Unfortunately for Yale, senior Henry von der Schulenburg was about to drive the nail in its coffin. He took down his opponent 6-4, 6-4, clinching a win for Harvard with two left to play.

Yale got back on the board, beating freshman Rohan Murali 6-4, 6-4 in what might be described as a bit of a moral victory. But, the most interesting match of the day was yet to come. Sophomore Melchior Delloye played an absolute marathon, winning the first set, 7-6 before dropping the second 6-4, sending the final match of the day to tiebreaks. In the end, Delloye’s fitness proved superior for the Crimson, and he was able to race past the Bulldog’s Jim Ji 10-6 to win the final match.

The squad will need to continue its momentum as it nears the postseason.
The squad will need to continue its momentum as it nears the postseason. By Sarah G. Erickson

Harvard 7, Brown 0

Harvard carried its strong performance into its Sunday match, sweeping the Brown University Bears. Just like its previous match against the Bulldogs, the Crimson dominated from the beginning, winning the doubles point thanks to strong performances on courts one and three.

Lins and Milavsky, playing on court one, and Perera and Yim, playing on court three, both won their doubles matches 6-4. As the season progresses, it has become clear that the Crimson’s doubles pairs are becoming more comfortable working with one another. In this standout sweep, both doubles pairings earned hard-fought victories over difficult opponents.

Harvard carried this energy into singles action. Jachuck and Murali were the first two to finish their matches. They both comfortably defeated their opponents, winning 6-1, 6-3 and 6-1, 6-2, respectively. The victories put the Crimson in a comfortable position that would carry it through the rest of the match.

Milavsky was next to secure another point for Harvard, defeating Brown’s Alex Finklestein 6-1, 7-5 on court one. This was Milavsky’s 17th win of the season, giving him a singles record of 17-7.

With an impressive doubles record as well of 25-9, Milavsky has been crucial to the Crimson’s success so far this season. Given his strong performances in both singles and doubles, it is no surprise that Milavsky also leads the team in both win categories.

Delloye, Perera, and sophomore Valdemar Pape followed with strong singles performances. All three came out of their matches with wins, with Delloye finishing 7-5, 6-4, Perera triumphing 6-2, 6-3, and Pape taking a nail-biter closing set to win 6-2, 7-6 (1).

Pape had an especially standout performance on court six. Despite Harvard’s victory already being assured, Pape continued to put all of his energy into the match, including a dominant performance in the second-set tiebreak. This victory marks Pape’s first in-league win of the season.

“We’re always looking for ways to gain extra one percents in our game, but at this stage in the season these adjustments are very minor,” Jachuck said. “The biggest thing for us this week is to take care of our bodies, have a good week of practice, and be physically and mentally ready for two tough road matches this weekend.”

“It was a great start to the Ivy League season. We always talk about peaking in May and I feel like we are getting better with every match,” Yim added. “We have great opportunities against Cornell and Columbia and want to continue this momentum for the end part of the season. I’m super excited for what’s to come.”

All around, the Crimson proved to be strong on all courts throughout the weekend. These huge wins put Harvard up 3-0 in Ivy League play. Up next, the Crimson will take on No. 28 Cornell (15-5, 2-1 Ivy) and No. 10 Columbia (16-3, 2-1 Ivy) this coming weekend.

—Staff writer Lauren Choy can be reached at

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