As a high school athlete, tennis player Kyle Dawson ’14 already had two older brothers’ Yale legacies to live up to. Brothers Jeff Dawson ’09 and Connor Dawson ’10 were each recruited to Yale andelected captain of the team as seniors after three years of outstanding play on the team.

Through many days and nights on the tennis courts in his hometown of Chicago, Dawson has so far managed to follow in his older brothers’ footsteps. Though he did not have as big an impact as he wanted to freshmanyear due to a season-ending ankle injury early in the spring semester, Dawson continued to work hard and try to improve his tennis even when injured. Tennis captain Erik Blumenkranz ’12 said that Dawson has made a great comeback this year.

“Kyle has a tremendous work ethic and is a great teammate,” Blumenkranz said. “Despite being setback by a few tough injuries in the past, he has worked very hard and improved a lot this year. I think he’s going to have a great spring and will be a huge part of our having a successful season.”

Michael Coleman ’14, Dawson’s rommate of two years, said that while Dawson was injured, he kept him stay motivated by lifting his spirits and helping him muscle train so that he could make a strong comeback this year.

When he is now competing on the courts for Yale, Dawson fits intoa wide rangesocial groups on campus and decided againstjoiningthefraternity, Sigma Nu, which counts most of the team as brothers.

“I’m not trying to follow in anyone’s footsteps or fulfill any legacies,” Dawson said. “I’m just being myself and having a lot of fun doing it.”

He added that while he enjoys the social scene at Yale, he is very focused on his performance as both a student and an athlete by taking courses in a variety of departments in addition to playing intournaments on the road this semester.

While Dawson’s intended major is political science, he said he is keeping all of his academic options open. In addition to trying out a wide variety of classes, he has been making use ofthe many resources Yaleoffers outside theclassroom to broaden his interest.

Academics aside, Dawson’s passion is undoubtedly the sport of tennis. Teammate and classmate Patrick Chase ’14 said while Dawson is an easy-going guy, there are few who are more passionate and fiery on the tennis court.

“Few people I know can balance their academics, social lifeand sports so well and be good at all three like Kyle can,” Chase said.

The men’s tennis team’s season ended last weekend with the Connecticut State Championship, and it will start up again with a scrimmage against Brown in mid-January.