Jan. 17, 2006
New Haven, CT - In the latest national rankings, Yale's Brandon Wai '07 captured the No. 33 position. Wai is the only Bulldog to break the top 100, and has the highest ranking of any Ivy League player. In October, Wai won the ITA Northeast regional, capping off the fall season as the No. 1 ranked player in the Northeast and earning a bid to the National Championships that were held last November.
Wai has significantly improved his ranking throughout his time at Yale. Wai ended the last calendar year with a No. 93 ranking, and was also awarded first team All-Ivy in singles and doubles play. In the preseason, Wai was ranked No. 51.
Yale men's tennis head coach Alex Dorato praised Wai's consistency and the major gains Wai has made in strength training.
"Brandon has improved tremendously... He has improved his forehand into a major explosive weapon, and he has added a significant amount of strength and speed... Since taking over the #1 position Brandon brings to the team confidence that we can win at #1 singles against any team. And he plays with the highest level of sportsmanship which reflects well on the team and on Yale University," Dorato said.
Wai agreed with Dorato that there have been improvements in his game since last year due to his new strength trainer, although Wai noted that he would like to continue working on his serve and transition game. Wai stressed that his main goal this season is to help Yale win the Ivy League Championship.
"We have a much deeper team this year, with great team chemistry and if everyone is healthy, I know that the Ivy Title is definitely within our reach," Wai said.
An Ivy Title is definitely within the Bulldog's reach, as Wai is surrounded by a plethora of teammates who have also excelled this year. Milosz Gudzowski '06 finished up fall play with a No. 12 ranking in the Northeast Region. Dorato applauded Gudowski for his "ability to take balls on the rise and hit them with pin-point accuracy."Also adding to the team is Rowan Reynolds '06, who really shone at the end of the fall season. Rory Green '08 has made significant improvements to his doubles game and played the No. 1 doubles position with Reynolds in the fall. The freshmen have also already made their mark on the team. Dorato praised Michael Caldwell '09, who stands a towering 6'5" over his opponents, for his "big serve and strong ground strokes," Jeff Dawson '09 for his "aggressive baseline game and beautiful one-handed backhand," and Josh Lederman '09 for his "phenomenal control and great touch when he comes to the net to volley." In the fall, Lederman paired up with Wai in doubles play to defeat the No. 1 ranked team in the Northeast region. All three saw starting time in the fall and are expected to contribute to the starting lineup in singles, doubles or both in the spring. The Bulldogs return to action with an indoor scrimmage against Brown in Providence on Jan. 22, 2006.