No. 41 Men’s Tennis Falls to No. 10 TCU in NCAA First Round Bout

Photo by Sharon Ellman
Photo by Sharon Ellman

FORT WORTH, Texas—The No. 41 Harvard men's tennis team ended its 2019 NCAA Tournament run this evening, falling 4-1 to No. 10 TCU at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. The Crimson ends its 2018-19 campaign with an 18-8 (5-2 Ivy) overall mark.

"I'm so proud of how the team competed today, just like they've done all year. This group of guys always seemed to embrace the challenge," said the Scott Mead '77 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Tennis Andrew Rueb. "I'm especially proud of all of our seniors and how much they have given to this program, both on and off the court. They are exemplary student-athletes and have set the bar extremely high for what it means to be a Harvard tennis player."

After a rain delay forced matches indoors, TCU immediately went on the attack, picking up the doubles point to gain a 1-0 advantage. The Horned Frogs' 15th-ranked doubles pair took the first point, winning 6-1 at the top of the order. Hoping to rally back and even the score, the duo of Christopher Morrow and Harris Walker held TCU at 4-4 in the third position, but the Horned Frogs ultimately clinched the point with a second win on court two.

Heading into singles, first-year Walker evened the highly-competitive match at one all, earning a straight-sets 6-3, 6-3 victory in the fourth slot. Regaining momentum, TCU took back the lead off a 6-3, 6-2 decision on court two, before deciding the match off consecutive victories at the third and fifth positions.

"We have the youngest starting lineup in the Ivy League, and for them to make it to the tournament and place second in the league, the future is very bright," said Rueb, following the conclusion of the match. "We look forward to next year and building on what we accomplished this season."

Harvard Highlights
-First-year Harris Walker dominated in the fourth slot, picking up a straight-sets victory over TCU to even the match at 1-1.
-Harvard closes out the season with an 18-8 (5-2 Ivy) record.
-The Crimson's first round match marks the 26th postseason appearance in program history as well as its second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.

1. #4 Alex Rybakov vs. Andy Zhou, 6-3, 5-4, unfinished
2. #28 Alastair Gray def. Robert Wrzesinski, 6-1, 6-4
3. Reese Stalder def. Brian Shi, 6-3, 6-2
4. Harris Walker def. Bertus Kruger, 6-3, 6-3
5. Luc Fomba def. Steven Sun, 7-5, 6-3
6. Sander Jong vs. Lane Leschly, 0-1, unfinished

1. #15 Alastair Gray/Alex Rybakov def. #75 Logan Weber/Andy Zhou, 6-1
2. #22 Bertus Kruger/Reese Stalder def. Brian Shi/Robert Wrzesinski, 6-4
3. Luc Fomba/Sander Jong vs. Christopher Morrow/Harris Walker, 4-4, unfinished