Men’s tennis makes strides in singles play at Dartmouth’s annual fall invitational
This weekend, men’s tennis faced off against Boston University, Brown University and Williams College, leading in singles but falling short in doubles.
This weekend, men’s tennis welcomed Boston University, Brown University and Williams College to compete at the Dartmouth Invitational at the Thompson Outdoor Courts, marking the home opener for the 2023-2024 season. On their home turf, the Big Green came out on top in their singles, winning 18 out of 23 matches, but struggled to find the rhythm in their doubles — only winning two of six matches.
With the new season starting, the Big Green stepped onto the courts hoping for their first home victory. In his first Hanover match, Xander Barber ’27 took the Big Green’s first home doubles point over Brown, winning 6-3 with partner Carlos Guerrero Alvarez ’25.
Barber was ultimately a stand-out for the day, winning all of his singles and doubles matches.
“It was pretty solid,” Barber said. “I was with Carlos, who has been on the team for two years, so he has a bit more experience. It was a good start to the season, and hopefully I can play some more with him.”
Unfortunately, Henry Ren ’26 and Alex Knox-Jones ’25 were not able to follow their teammates, as they lost their doubles match 6-3 to Williams’s Matt Kandel and Nicholas Chen.
“We lost on a single break, and sometimes tennis goes like that,” Ren said. “It doesn’t always go in our favor, but we competed hard and left it out there.”
Nevertheless, Ren did not let the loss ruin the day, as he would later defeat Kandel in a two-set victory. Barber, Miles Groom ’26 and Yujiro Onuma ’27 also had two-set victories in their singles matches.
“Playing next to friends and teammates brings out a different side of me and makes tennis a lot more fun and energetic,” Ren said. “Having these guys encouraging me from the sidelines and beside me on the court is something very special.”
Logan Chang ’24 and Guerrero Alvarez played nail-biters in their matches against BUand Brown, respectively, but unfortunately came up short. Knox-Jones also faced a loss in his singles match, causing the Big Green to win four out of seven singles on the first day.
On the second day of the Dartmouth Invitational, the Big Green came out even stronger, as they won seven of their eight singles, despite failing to secure a victory in their doubles.
Barber, Groom, Guerrero Alvarez, Knox-Jones, Onuma and Ren all came out victorious in their singles matches. In Ren’s first singles, he was leading 4-1 when the game ended due to retirement. Ren went along to win his next match in a three-set victory along with Groom and Barber. Guerrero Alvarez, Knox-Jones and Onuma all had two-set victories, and Onuma won both of his sets 6-0.
“The coaches obviously make a difference,” Onuma said. “I didn’t get coached very often [before Dartmouth] — that’s been a huge change.”
Once again, Chang played an anticipated match against his singles opponent and faced a three-set loss.
Despite being victorious in their singles matches, the Big Green could not extend their success into their doubles matches.
Barber and Guerrero Alvarez faced their first doubles match loss of the weekend to Kandal and Chen, who won 7-6. Groom and Chang played their first double match of the weekend against Williams College as well, but suffered a 7-5 loss.
On the final day of the Dartmouth Invitational, Dartmouth won seven out of eight singles matches. In addition, Knox-Jones and Ren came out on top for their final doubles match of the weekend. The pair defeated Williams 7-6.
The future is bright for the Big Green, as they gear up to take on greater challenges.
“I am looking forward to playing some more competitive matches,” said Onuma. “It’d be nice to have a bit more pressure.”
The Big Green will be back in action in New Haven, Connecticut to compete in the International Tennis Association Regionals hosted by Yale University on Friday, Sept. 29.