NEW YORK - For the second time in as many days, the Columbia men's tennis team battled back from being down, to have the match come down to one singles bout in its third set. Sunday's match versus Brown ended with a tough loss in that third set, and the Bears beat the Lions, 4-3. Columbia is now 7-13 overall, and 1-3 in the Ivy League.
The doubles point went to Brown, as the Bear had wins in the Nos.1 and 3 spots. Tizian Bucher and Cyril Bucher fell at No.1, 8-3, while juniors Haig Schneiderman and Rajeev Deb-Sen lost at No.3, 8-3. Sophomores Nathaniel Gery and John Yetimoglu teamed up in the No.2 spot to take a win, 8-4.
Brown had the early 1-0 lead with the doubles point, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long. Buoyed by Friday’s win over Yale, the Lions knew that they were capable of coming back from being down to take the win. And they started to do just that.
In the No.3 singles spot, sophomore Nathaniel Gery dismantled Brandon Burke, 6-0, 6-3 to tie the team score up at 1-1. Brown took the lead back when senior Kevin Kung lost to Sam Fife at No.2, 6-2, 6-1. But it would be tied up once again with junior Haig Schneiderman’s decisive win over Mike Hill in the No.1 singles spot, 6-2, 6-2.
A win for Brown in the No.4 singles spot would put the Bears up, 3-2, just one point from clinching the match. There, sophomore John Yetimoglu fell to Kendrick Au in a tough three set match, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. But again the Lions would answer with a win. Sophomore Rajeev Deb-Sen had a huge win for the Lions in the No.6 singles spot, as he beat Timmy Klanke, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
So the two teams were tied, and once again, it came down to one of the tougher battles on the court. This time it was the No.5 singles spot, where two first-years were fighting it out. Brown’s Souifiane Azarqui staffed a fantastic rally in the first set to take an early lead. Columbia’s Tizian Bucher had a 5-2 set lead over Azarqui, but Azarqui fought hard and won five straight games, to take the first set, 7-5. In the second set, Bucher played well, winning 6-3, and forcing Azarqui to a third set, that would determine the team winner. Both athletes played well. Bucher was broken early, but with the score tied up at 4-4, and Azarqui serving, Bucher managed to mount a huge effort and break Azarqui, getting back on serve, and going up, 5-4. But Azarqui broke him right back, tying it up at 5. From there, Azarqui had several outstanding plays to take the last two games, winning the match 7-5, and clinching the team win, 4-3.
Up next for the Lions is a road trip to take on Princeton, Friday, April 15 at 2 p.m.
Brown 4, Columbia 3
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*
1. Haig Schneiderman (COL) def. Mike Hill (BROWN) 6-2, 6-2
2. Sam Fife (BROWN) def. Kevin Kung (COL) 6-2, 6-1
3. Nathaniel Gery (COL) def. Brandon Burke (BROWN) 6-0, 6-3
4. Kendrick Au (BROWN) def. John Yetimoglu (COL) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Soufiane Azarqui (BROWN) def. Tizian Bucher (COL) 7-5, 3-6, 7-5
6. Rajeev Deb-Sen (COL) def. Timmy Klanke (BROWN) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1, 4, 6, 5*