Gonyer '05 grabs spotlight at ITA Regionals

by Mark Davis | 10/31/01 6:00am

Freshman Chris Gonyer led the Dartmouth men's tennis team's impressive weekend with a surprising quarterfinal appearance in the ITA Regional Championship in Princeton.

Gonyer jumped to an early lead in his quarterfinal match against Oli Choo of Harvard on Monday, taking the first set in a tiebreak, 7-6. However, the freshman was simply overpowered from then on, as Choo took the next two sets, 6-3, 6-0, to knock Gonyer out of the tournament.

"By the time I got to Oliver Choo, I didn't have that much left," Gonyer said. "I played very well in the first set, getting up 5-1, and then he picked up his game more. I was able to close out the set, but by that point my body had given up. I really had no more in me. He is a great player and played very well against me. He did everything he needed to do to beat me and I congratulate him."

Gonyer's path to the quarterfinals was definitely not easy.

The competition was light in the second round, as Gonyer easily dispatched Marist's Hoffer in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, but the rest of the draw presented an uphill battle.

In the round of 32, Gonyer drew the second seed and Princeton's No. 1 player, Judson Williams. The two fought hard for three sets, playing with similar styles and battling through long rallies. Williams took the lead with a 6-4 victory in the first set, but Gonyer came right back to take the second, 6-3.

Gonyer finally captured the victory after three and a half hours with a 6-3 third set.

After only a one-hour break, Gonyer had to return to take on Akil Shamasdon of Brown.

Gonyer overcame Akil's potent serve-and-volley style to advance to the quarterfinals with a 6-1,6-3 win.

"I really did not expect to do this well in the tournament," Gonyer said.

"I was just hoping to get out there and try to get back into my rhythm. Since I got to Dartmouth, I haven't really been playing my best and have been trying to get back into it. This weekend was a great opportunity to do just that.

"I went out there not expecting anything at all and played very well."

Jeff Sloves '02 also had a great weekend, advancing to the round of 16.

Sloves cruised to a second-round victory against Marjan Kaljaj of Sacred Heart, 6-4, 6-2, and bounced back from a difficult second set to defeat the University of Hartford's Pedro Kajaje, 6-4, 0-6, 6-3.

In the round of 16, Sloves was forced to retire at match point when the score stood at 5-4 in the third set against Jonathan Chu of Harvard, despite the fact that Sloves dominated play up to that point.

Meanwhile, Dartmouth's final entry, Drew Dinkmeyer '04, fell to Harvard's George Turner in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, in the second round.

The Big Green hosts the Dartmouth Invitational on Nov. 10.