Four players from the women’s tennis team represented Yale this weekend at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Women’s College Invitational. Madeleine Hamilton ’16 and Amber Li ’15 won three doubles matches in their first tournament playing together as a pair before losing to a Princeton duo in the championship.
On Saturday, Hamilton and Li cruised past a Dartmouth team with an 8–1 win in the first draw of the tournament. They followed up that performance the next day by defeating a pair from Army 8–4 in the quarterfinal and then beating a Brown team 8–6 in the semifinal. But on Monday, Princeton’s Lindsay Graff and Amanda Mulianwan proved to be too much for the Yale pair. Hamilton and Li lost 8–3 in the championship to clinch second place.
“I thought that because it was our first time out there playing together … we did really well,” Li said. “But I feel like we did not play our best in the finals and … I feel like we still could’ve won that match, so it’s kind of a bittersweet feeling.”
This weekend’s match was the first year two freshman-sophomore pairs faced off in the women’s doubles finals of the tournament.
Li and Hamilton were joined at the tournament in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. by teammates Sarah Guzick ’13 and Courtney Amos ’16. Ree Ree Li ’16 was slated to appear in the tournament but had to drop out because of illness.
Amos and Guzak also competed in the doubles tournament. They won their first match 8–3 against players from Charleston Southern University and then defeated a North Carolina State pairing 8–2 the following day. The duo fell to Brown 8-1 later that day in a semifinal match.
“I think that we played very well together up until our very last match,” Guzick said. “Neither of us played very well in our semifinal match, and it was a disappointment. It kind of tainted the very end.”
In singles, Li won two matches on the first day before falling 6–0, 6–1 to Princeton’s Katherine Flanigan in the semifinal. Amos lost in the first draw to Marketa Placha of Charleston Southern, but she continued on to win her first match in the consolation bracket. Guzik also lost in the first round, to Julienne Keong of Dartmouth, but she advanced all the way to the finals in the consolation bracket. Hamilton beat Sarah O’Neil of Cornell in the first draw before falling to Nevena Selekovic of Saint John’s.
Guzick said she particularly looked forward to playing at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, a site Yale travels to just once each year.
“It’s so exciting, motivational, inspirational, to be able to play on the same courts that U.S. Open champs get to play on,” Guzick said.
The Bulldogs will next take the court when Yale hosts the ITA Regional Championships. Guzick said the team was prepared for the quick turnaround before the Regional Championships.
“We actually had a talk about it today,” Guzick said. “The coach sat us down, and [said that] we have eight practices until regionals. We have 23 hours of tennis to play. We’re going to make the most out of it.”
The ITA Regional Championships will take place from Oct. 18 to Oct. 23.