Aug. 20, 2005
Junior Brandon Wai (San Diego, CA) represented Yale well on Saturday morning at the 2005 Pilot Pen Tournament by making a very close contest before falling to former NCAA Champion Sargis Sargsian, 7-5 and 6-4 in the first round of qualifying.
Wai went up 3-0 in the first set with help from a shaky Sargsian serve that never really came together during the 90-minute match. The 117th ranked pro came back to win the next four games.
"It was a little nerve-racking out there, and I got a little tired after the first three games," said Wai, an All-Ivy player who won the LaJolla Men's Open Tournament this past June.
Sargsian broke Wai's serve at 5-5 in the first set and went on to the 7-5 decision.
With the second set knotted at 2-2, Wai had a wonderful opportunity to take the momentum with a break in the fifth game but could not capitalize on three break points. The Bulldogs' No.1 player, competing in his first pro event, fought back to even things at 4-4 and then was unable to get enough first serves in to hold in the ninth game.
"I was very happy with the way Brandon played. He made Sargis earn his money today," said Alex Dorato, Yale's head coach of tennis.
"This match will help me have the confidence I need [for the coming collegiate campaign]," said Wai. "It looks like I can play with these guys, certainly anyone in college tennis."
report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Assistant AD and Sports Publicity Director