Tennis ends fall play

by Lucy Pollard | 11/8/06 6:00am

Daniel Freeman '10 put on a show for the hometown fans at this past weekend's Big Green Invitational, a tournament that saw strong performances from many of Dartmouth's younger tennis players.

Freeman won three straight matches, including a semifinal victory over the tournament's No. 1 seed en route to a birth in the A flight singles final. Unfortunately, Freeman fell in the tiebreaker of a tight final match.

Seeded fourth, Freeman knocked off his first Harvard opponent during the first round 6-4, 6-4. In the quarters, Freeman edged out the fifth seed of the tournament, Manhattan's Diego Alvarado, 7-6, 6-3.

But Freeman's best performance came in his semifinal against Harvard's No. 1 player and the Invitational's top seed, Ashwin Kumar. Freeman pulled off a solid 6-3, 6-4 upset, stunning the Harvard tennis team.

"Beating Kumar was exhilarating, as I had both the men's and women's teams cheering me on," Freeman said after the match. "The crowd definitely helped a lot, and I served extremely well."

Unfortunately, Freeman could not overcome Manhattan's No. 1 player and the tournament's second seed, Bogdan Borta. Despite winning the first set 6-3, Freeman was unable to keep pace and lost the second set 3-6, before losing 3-10 in the tiebreaker, a performance head coach Charles Kinyon called a "valiant effort."

Freeman's success and stamina at the Invitational was phenomenal considering the freshman was ill just prior to the tournament.

"It is actually very surprising that I [played] so well this weekend because I found out on Thursday that I have had pneumonia the last month, and have only been on antibiotics the last couple days," said Freeman.

Several other Big Green players found success in the tournament. Justin Tzou '10, also competed in A flight singles and made it to the quarterfinals before being stopped by a Harvard opponent 1-6, 0-6. Tzou defeated Yules Hadisbroto from Buffalo in an incredibly exhilarating first-round match. Tzou started off on the wrong foot, losing his first set 3-6.

"I thought this was a very frustrating match for me because my opponent was hitting every shot almost perfect, and I got off to a very slow start," Tzou said. Luckily, Tzou found his stride in the second set, which he won 6-4 to force a tiebreaker.

"In the third set super tiebreaker, I listened to my fellow teammates cheer me on and distinctly remember hearing my team captain, David Waslen ['07], saying, 'Quick start buddy, quick start!' Hearing that, I concentrated even more. With winning being the only thing in mind, my game finally came together when it counted, and I clinched the match at 10-1 in the super tiebreak."

Tzou credits players from both the men's and women's tennis teams for cheering with incredible enthusiasm throughout their matches.

"I had lots of fun out there," said Tzou.

Jeff Friedman '10 also won his first A flight singles matchup for the Big Green against a Rutgers opponent 6-0, 6-1, but fell in the second round to eventual champion Bogdon Borta.

In B flight singles, all three Big Green players fell in the quarterfinals. Ryan Smith '10 received a bye and then won his first match 6-3, 6-4 before being stopped in the quarters by David Alvarado 6-3, 6-3.

Classmate Charlie Dunn '10 won his first two matches but fell to Ray Josephs of Marist in the quarters. Matt Hartman '10 won his second-round match after a bye before being stopped by Ted Mabrey of Princeton 6-4, 6-4.

In doubles action, the freshman tandem of Smith and Hartman made it furthest along in the bracket by reaching the quarterfinals. After receiving a first round bye, the two defeated a team from McGill 9-7 before being dominated by the third-seeded team from Princeton 1-8. The Big Green team of Andy Kim '10 and Friedman managed to beat a Rutgers opponent in the first round 8-3 but fell in the second round.

The Big Green Invitational signals the end of men's tennis for the term. Be ready to catch the Big Green men in action when they return to the courts in January.

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