Harvard men's tennis has a shot at its first Ivy League title since 2013 (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass - Harvard men's tennis (16-9, 4-1 Ivy) currently sits in a three-way tie atop the Ivy League standings heading into its final weekend of regular season competition at Princeton (April 22, 1 p.m.) and Penn (April 23, 1 p.m.). The Crimson is tied with Columbia and Cornell, who both sit at 4-1 in league play, and would share the league crown if tied with either team at the end of the weekend. Harvard leads the Ivy League with 28 Ivy League regular season titles, and 21 outright championships all time.
Princeton sits at 12-11 overall (2-2 Ivy League) and earned a 4-2 dual match win against Harvard earlier this season at the ECAC Championships on Feb. 17. Penn is 14-9 (1-3 Ivy League) and also earned a 4-2 dual match win over the Crimson on Feb. 19 at the ECAC Championships.
The Last Time Out
Harvard saw its seven-match winning streak come to an end in a hard-fought 4-2 defeat against No. 25 Cornell on Sunday at the Beren Tennis Center. Harvard once again won the doubles point, continuing an outstanding season of doubles action with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Sebastian Beltrame and Jean Thirouin earned a 6-2 win against Lev Kazakov and David Volfson. Then Christopher Morrow and Logan Weber clinched the doubles win for Harvard with a 6-4 win over Cornell's Bernado Casares Rosa and Rohan Sikka. In singles play, Thirouin defeated No. 116 Lev Kazakov in straight sets – 6-3, 6-4.
In The Rankings
Harvard's No. 1 doubles team, junior Kenny Tao and senior Brian Yeung, moved up to No. 66 in the nation in the latest ITA National College Tennis Rankings, released on April 17. Tao and Yeung have 15 wins on the season, and beat No. 36 doubles pair Victor Pham and Richard Pham from Columbia, 7-6 (7-4) on April 15. The duo also beat No. 13 doubles pair Alexander Day and Luke Gamble from Princeton on Feb. 17, 6-4, at the ECAC Championships. Tao and Yeung are 7-3 in their last 10 matches.
In singles play, Kenny Tao was ranked for the first time this season in the ITA rankings, checking in at No. 121. Tao is 13-6 on the season and has won six matches in a row, including a 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 68 Victor Pham of Columbia on April 15. Tao is 9-5 this season playing in the No. 1 singles spot.
Harvard Doubles Dominant
Harvard has been dominant in doubles play this season, with a 50-21 (.704) record overall in doubles matches this season. While Harvard's top pair of Tao and Yeung has been solid (15-6) it has been strong one through three. Harvard's No. 2 pair, Sebastian Beltrame and Jean Thirouin (9-3) and No. 3 pair, Christopher Morrow and Logan Weber (17-5) have been equally strong.
Beltrame Working as Mental Coach
During the 2016-17 Harvard men's tennis season, internationally renowned tennis performance expert Lorenzo Beltrame will work with the team. Beltrame has served as the Director of Athletic Performance Coaching at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute in Orlando since 1996. He has worked with dozens of ATP and WTA professionals during his career, including Jim Courier and Pete Sampras. He was named Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) Professional of the Year in 2016. Lorenzo is also the father of Harvard men's tennis captain Sebastian Beltrame.
Harvard competed in five fall events, with several strong performances to build momentum heading into the spring season. Senior Brian Yeung went a combined 5-1 at the Harvard Chowderfest in singles and doubles play on Sept. 16-18.
Junior Grant Solomon advanced to the finals of the top singles draw at the Ivy Plus Tournament on Sept. 23-25. Sophomore Andy Zhou won the Harvard Octoberfest on Oct. 15, and senior co-captain Sebastian Beltrame advanced to the quarterfinals in singles play at the ITA Northeast Regional Championships in late October. Junior Kenny Tao won the I-64 Challenge with a 3-0 record in singles play to cap off the fall season.
Harvard men's tennis elected senior Sebastian Beltrame and junior Jean Thirouin as captains for the 2016-17 season. Beltrame and Thirouin, both ITA Scholar-Athletes, were regulars in the Crimson lineup last season.
Meet the Freshmen
Harvard's freshman class was ranked No. 7 in the nation by TennisRecruiting.net. Galen Lee (Woodstock, Ga./Etowah), Lane Leschly (Atherton, Calif./Menlo), and Logan Weber (Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook) make up the Harvard men's tennis class of 2020.
On the Sidelines
David Fish, the Scott Mead '77 Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Tennis, enters his 41st season with the Crimson after coaching the men's tennis team to an 16-11 record last season. Fish owns an all-time dual record of 680-313-1 and has led the Crimson to a top-40 finish in four of the last five seasons.
The Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight. Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes.
Harvard will await postseason selection, as the NCAA DI Men's Tennis Selection Show will take place on May 2 at 5 p.m. and can be viewed on NCAA.com.