Chicago Clutches Titles at ITA Central

The men’s tennis team excelled in both singles and doubles play this weekend, capturing titles in both events at the ITA Central tournament. Next stop is the Oracle Cup next weekend.

By Audrey Mason

Repeating history for the fourth consecutive year, the University of Chicago men’s tennis team once again took out the competition with singles and doubles titles at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Regional Championship. The team dominated the entire tournament, obtaining all four spots in the singles semifinals on Sunday. 

UChicago began the day with five singles players in the quarterfinals. No. 1 second-year Erik Kerrigan swiftly advanced to the semifinals with a 6–1, 6–1 victory. He was later joined by teammate first-year Alejandro Rodriguez, who advanced to the semifinals after a 6–2 loss, followed by 6–2, 6–4 wins. Defeating Rodriguez 6–3, 6–4, Kerrigan proceeded to the singles finals.

The other singles semifinal also saw Maroon teammates face off, with first-year Jeremy Yuan and second-year Ninan Kumar playing each other. In the previous quarterfinals, Yuan demolished his Case Western Reserve opponent and Kumar defeated Chicago third-year Charlie Pei. After a close match in the semifinals, Yuan defeated Kumar after a 6–3 loss, followed by 6–2, 7–6 wins.

On Tuesday at the Stagg courts, Maroons Kerrigan and Yuan will face off for the singles title, with the winner advancing to the ITA Oracle Cup.

In the consolation singles tournament, fourth-year Luke Tsai destroyed the competition, emerging victorious with wins of 6–0, 6–0 and 6–0, 6–2. He secured the consolation final with a 6–1 loss, followed by 6–4, 10–6 wins against his Wash U opponent.

On the doubles side of the competition, the Maroons also dominated, with three of the four semifinalists representing the Maroons. The No. 2 team from Wash U blew away second-year Abhin Sharma and first-year Justin Lee in one semifinal. In the other semifinal, second-year Tyler Raclin teamed up with Yuan to defeat the No. 1 team of second-years Kerrigan and Kumar. 

In the finals, Raclin and Yuan lost the first set 6–4 and found themselves falling behind in the second set 5–3 against the Wash U team. Making a huge comeback, the Maroons ended up claiming the second set 7–5. With the title on the line, Raclin and Yuan won the third set 10–8 to claim the regional doubles trophy. The pair will advance to the ITA Oracle Cup where they will play against other regional champions in Rome, GA.

This is the second consecutive year that two-time All-American Raclin earned this title, but it was the first time he had ever played alongside Yuan. Coming into the tournament unseeded, they were not expected to do well, especially when faced with the No. 1 duo. “The team and I did a great job of locking in and grinding out close matches,” Raclin said. “For the next match we are going to build on our progress, hit the gym, and work on hitting the ball harder.”