April 24, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, MA - The 36th-ranked Brown men's tennis team (22-5, 6-0) earned a 5-2 victory over #43 Harvard to remain undefeated in Ivy competition and clinch at least a share of the 2005 Ivy League Title. A win on Thursday at Yale would give the Bears a perfect, 7-0, league record, the Ivy League Title outright, and the league's berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Brown opened the match with wins at #2 and #3 doubles to take a 1-0 lead into singles action. Juniors Richard Moss (Johannesburg, South Africa) and Philip Charm (Concord, MA) made quick work of their opponents at #3, winning 8-3, and then freshman Saurabh Kohli (Colaba, Mumbai, India) and sophomore Eric Thomas (Cincinnati, OH) clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 win at #2. The match at #1, with seniors Adil Shamasdin (Pickering, ONT) and Nicholas Goldberg (Alburquerque, NM), went down to the wire, but Harvard earned the 9-8 win in a 7-5 tie-breaker.
"Today was another great team win," said Head Coach Jay Harris. "We came out and played solid doubles, dominating at #2 and #3 to win the point."
Harvard came out strong in singles action, giving Brown a scare, as the Crimson earned first-set wins in three of the six singles matches. The turning point came after the three first-set losses at #2, #4, and #6, when Charm and Thomas won first-set tie-breakers at #5 and #3, respectively to give Brown three first sets, combined with Shamasdin's 6-3 first-set win at #1.
Minutes later, Shamasdin put Brown up, 2-0, winning his second set, 6-3. Harvard took the next two matches, winning at #2, 6-4, 7-6 (4), and at #4, 6-2, 6-4, but Kohli swung things back in favor for Brown, 3-2 with his three-set win at #6. After losing the first set, 6-3, Kohli found himself down, 4-2 in the second set. He won four straight games to take the second, 6-4, and then won another six straight games in dominating fashion, to win the third and decisive set, 6-0.
The match came down to court #5, where Charm won his first set, 7-6 (2). His 6-4 win in the second set, clinched the win for Brown, and its share of the Ivy Title. Over on court #3, Thomas put the finishing touches on the Brown victory with his 6-2 win in the second set, after winning 7-6 (4) in the first.
"Harvard came out strong and we were in a bit of trouble at the start of singles," said Harris. "Phil and Nick winning their tie-breakers, and Adil taking out their hottest player took the wind out of their sails. For Saurabh to win those 10 straight games at this level was great. We need to take care of business on Thursday."
The Bears will travel down 95 to New Haven, CT, where they will face Yale on Thursday afternoon, at 2:00 p.m. A victory would give Brown the Ivy Title outright.
#1 Chu/Kumar (H) def. Shamasdin/Goldberg (B); 9-8 (5)
#2 Kohli/Thomas (B) def. Valkin/Denenberg (H); 8-4
#3 Moss/Charm (B) def. Chiu/Beren (H); 8-3
Order of Finish: 3,2,1
#1 Shamasdin (B) def. Chu (H); 6-3, 6-3
#2 Kumar (H) def. Goldberg (B); 6-4, 7-5 (4)
#3 Thomas (B) def. Nguyen (H); 7-6 (2); 6-2
#4 Dhaka (H) def. Moss (B); 6-2, 6-4
#5 Charm (B) def. Valkin (H); 7-6 (4), 6-4
#6 Kohli (B) def. Chiu (H); 3-6, 6-4, 6-0
Order of Finish: 1,2,4,6,5,3