The Yale men’s tennis team walked away from the Connecticut State Championships this weekend with two trophies, claiming both the singles and doubles titles for the fourth consecutive year.
The Bulldogs hosted the seventh annual state championships, a tournament featuring the state’s most talented players from Yale, Quinnipiac, Fairfield, Hartford, Sacred Heart and UConn. By the conclusion of play on Sunday, Tyler Lu ’17 won the singles crown, defending his 2013 title. Lu and his partner Daniel Faierman ’15 were also the doubles victors.
“It was nice to end the fall season on a high note,” Faierman said. “But there is still a ton of room for improvement, and we’re looking to get better for the spring.”
The Elis started the tournament strong, with a combined 15–4 record after the first day of competition on Friday. Doubles play was exceptionally strong, as all five doubles pairings earned spots in the quarterfinals.
After two tough wins in singles play, Jason Brown ’16 and Matt Saiontz ’15 teamed up in doubles to defeat a Sacred Heart duo with a comfortable 8–3 win. Later, in a back-and-forth match, the pair overcame Kei Ezaka and Jonas Kuwert of Quinnipiac 8–6, sending the Yale pair into the quarterfinals.
In the all-Yale quarterfinal match, Fedor Andrienko ’18 and Stefan Doehler ’18 defeated teammates Brown and Saiontz with a decisive 8–1 victory.
“Fedor and I had never played a tournament together, but we were excited to see what we could accomplish,” Doehler said. “We started off a bit rocky, but as the tournament progressed we really figured out how to complement one another. That’s the key thing in doubles — being able to build off your partner.”
In the semifinal match on the other side of the bracket, Faierman and Lu eliminated the last non-Yale pair, Andrew Ginzberg and Zac McEntee of UConn, guaranteeing an all-Eli final. Meanwhile, the freshman tandem of Andrienko and Doehler defeated Martin Svenning ’16 and Ziqi Wang ’18 8–6.
In a competitive championship match, Faierman and Lu faced Andrienko and Doehler. The tussle between the two Eli duos was close, but Faierman and Lu escaped with an 8–7 victory over their teammates.
“Tyler and Daniel played some tough tennis and it was a really intense match, coming down to the wire in a tiebreaker,” Doehler said. “It’s always tough having to play your teammates, but we know to leave everything on the court. At the end of the day we’re all still best buds.”
The Bulldogs excelled in singles play as well. Yale was represented in the singles draw by eleven different players. Andrienko, Doehler, Wang, Lu, Svenning, Faiderman and Photos Photiades ’17 all recorded straight-set victories, sending them into the Round of 16.
The Elis won five of their seven matches in the Round of 16, sending Andrienko, Doehler, Wang, Lu and Photiades into quarterfinal matches. In two all-Bulldog matches, Lu defeated Andrienko while Wang overcame Photiades. Faierman joined his teammates in the semis after an easy 6–0, 6–0 victory against his overmatched Quinnipiac opponent.
Lu eliminated the last non-Eli in the singles draw, again forcing an all-Yale final. Wang advanced to the championship match to face Lu after mounting a come-from-behind win over Faierman 2-6, 6-4, 1–0. Lu, ranked No. 84 in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, defended his 2013 Connecticut State Championships title, defeating Wang 6–4, 6–4.
The Bulldogs will travel to Flushing, N.Y. on Nov. 6 to compete at the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.