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Tennis Assistant Butorac Falls In Aussie Semis

By Madeleine Smith, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard men’s tennis volunteer assistant coach Eric Butorac was on a quest to end up on top Down Under. Unfortunately his run at an Australian Open Championship came up short, ending just before the finals.

Butorac and his partner Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherland Antilles made it to the Grand Slam’s men’s doubles semifinal after winning their matches in the first four rounds along with a quarterfinal victory over the tournament’s fourth-seeded pair.

With their win in this year’s quarterfinals, Butorac and Rojer were set to play American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan early this morning. The Bryans have dominated international men’s doubles play for several years and have captured the Australian Open title in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010.

In this morning’s match the brothers defended their first-seed status, and beat Butorac and Rojer 6-3, 6-2, in just under an hour of play.

Butorac, who played Division III collegiate tennis at Minnesota’s Gustavus Adolphus College and won both NCAA singles and doubles titles, has made several appearances in the Australian Open as well as tennis’ three other Majors, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

While the Butorac and his partner undoubtedly would have liked to advance, the semifinal finish represents the Crimson coach’s best ever in Grand Slam competition.

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