Elis to Face Competition from Elite Northeast Teams in Three-Day Tournament
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Members of the Yale men's tennis team will travel to Hanover this Friday to compete in the Dartmouth Invitational. The annual weekend-long tournament traditionally features players from the strongest squads in the Northeast region; this year's field of teams is on the smaller side, with just four other teams (Amherst, Binghamton, Brown, Dartmouth) participating in the competition.
The Dartmouth Invitational marks the fifth event of the Bulldogs' 2016-17 campaign, and comes off the heels of impressive performances at the Connecticut Open, Ivy Plus and ITA All-American Championships over the past two weeks. Events like the Dartmouth Invitational, which take place early in the season, provide invaluable playing experience to those players looking to make their mark on the new season; for Yale, freshmen Ryan Cheng and Andrew Heller certainly qualify. This year's freshman class has already achieved a remarkable amount of success thus far, posting a staggering combined singles record of 26-3. While Cheng and Heller both won hardware at the Connecticut State Championships, Dylan King also impressed this past weekend by winning all five of his singles matches in the prequalifying and qualifying rounds of the ITA All-American Championships. Due to this high volume of matches in recent days, King will not be competing in the Dartmouth Invitational; his two fellow freshmen, however, will see this weekend's tournament as a significant opportunity to announce their arrival to the Northeast region.
After starting the year strong and winning his singles draw at the Ivy Plus, junior Ziqi Wang looks to assume a top spot in Yale's singles lineup this year alongside senior Tyler Lu, who recently submitted an impressive performance at the ITA All-American Championships. Success in Hanover would help solidify Wang's positive start. The remaining veteran members of the team – Fedor Andrienko, Stefan Doehler, Alex Hagermoser and Photos Photiades – will also play vital roles in the Elis' success this season, and the Dartmouth Invitational will give them the chance to show how much they have improved since last season.
This weekend's tournament will be a split event, with six singles flights and three doubles flights. Singles will kick off on Friday at noon and continue through Sunday, while doubles action will start on Saturday and also run through the end of the weekend. Under this format, each Yale player should play at least a few matches in singles and/or doubles while in Hanover. The full tournament draw can be found here.
Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity