EVANSTON, Ill. – A pair of doubles tiebreakers went the way of the Crimson and the Harvard men's tennis team used the momentum to capture a 4-3 victory over Northwestern Saturday. Harvard ups its dual record to 3-3 while the Wildcats slip to 8-3 on the season.
Northwestern drew first blood in the match as Mihir Kumar and Alex Pasareanu, playing at No. 3 for the Wildcats, earned an 8-4 victory over Harvard's Alex Steinroeder and Shaun Chaudhuri. Senior co-captain Andy Nguyen and rookie Nicky Hu, playing on the second court, were next to finish, leveling the match score with a dramatic 8-7 (7-2) victory. It all came down to first doubles where Denis Nguyen and Casey MacMaster dug deep to edge Sidarth Balaji and Raleigh Smith, 8-7 (13-11), swinging the doubles point to the Crimson.
The Wildcats answered with a vengeance in singles, rattling off a trio of wins to come within a point of claiming the match. Steinroeder dropped a 6-2, 6-2 decision at No. 3 and MacMaster wasn't far behind at No. 6, falling 6-2, 6-0 to Kumar. When Chaudhuri fell 7-5, 6-2 to Smith at second singles, the hosts took a commanding 3-1 lead and the remaining three matches were all into third and deciding sets.
Hu showed his flair for the dramatic wasn't reserved for doubles, standing tall in the third set against Chris Jackman at fifth singles for a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win. Andy Nguyen, playing at No. 4, was close behind, as the senior rallied after dropping the first set for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory, leveling the match at 3-3. Once again, it all came down to the top spot and Denis Nguyen didn't disappoint for the guests, taking down Spencer Wolf 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 to clinch the 4-3 win.
On Sunday, the Crimson will take on Vanderbilt in an 11 a.m., contest before flying back to snowy Cambridge.
Harvard 4, Northwestern 3
1. Casey MacMaster/Denis Nguyen (HU) def. Sidarth Balaji/Raleigh Smith (NU) 8-7 (13-11)
2. Andy Nguyen/Nicky Hu (HU) def. Spencer Wolf/Fedor Baev (NU) 8-7 (7-2)
3. Mihir Kumar/Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Alex Steinroeder/Shaun Chaudhuri (HU) 8-4
1. Denis Nguyen (HU) def. Spencer Wolf (NU) 5-7, 6-1, 7-5
2. Raleigh Smith (NU) def. Shaun Chaudhuri (HU) 7-5, 6-2
3. Sidarth Balaji (NU) def. Alex Steinroeder (HU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Andy Nguyen (HU) def. Alex Pasareanu (NU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
5. Nicky Hu (HU) def. Chris Jackman (NU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
6. Mihir Kumar (NU) def. Casey MacMaster (HU) 6-2, 6-0