Two More Wins Send Harvard's Nguyen into Singles Semifinal at NCAA Tennis Championships
Portions courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications
ATHENS, Ga. -- Harvard junior Denis Nguyen continued to impress in the singles bracket at the 2014 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships with two more straight-set victories to move on to Sunday's semifinals at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Nguyen takes on Pepperdine's Alex Sarkissian at 1:30 p.m. in one semifinal. No. 2 seed Marcos Giron of UCLA and No. 9-16 seed Søren Hess-Olesen of Texas meet in the other.
The Anaheim, Calif., native advanced to the semis by taking care of South Carolina's Andrew Adams, 6-4, 6-1, in a Round of 16 match on Friday morning, less than 15 hours after he and senior Casey MacMaster suffered a first-round doubles loss, and then dispatching No. 51 Florent Diep of Florida, 6-2, 6-2, in the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon.
An at-large selection to the NCAA Championship, Nguyen has already earned All-America accolades, becoming Harvard's first All-American since Jonathan Chu (singles and doubles) and Ashwin Kumar (doubles) in 2005. Chu advanced to the semifinals of the 2005 men's singles bracket, while James Blake made the Ivy League's deepest run in the modern era, earning a berth in the NCAA title match in 1999.
Nguyen's quartet of straight-set victories is testament to his dominant play in this year's bracket. He started the tournament by taking down, Texas' Lloyd Glasspool, 6-4, 6-3, and officially earned All-America status with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Duke's Fred Saba.
"I think we've seen this potential in Denis from the beginning," says his head coach Dave Fish. "This year he has really grown into his game and throughout the season, he has shown this enormous capacity. Playing here has given him the opportunity to see match after match how good his game is. He's shored up his technical weaknesses and controls the match tempo beautifully. Every one of these matches is like climbing a mountain, but he's having fun climbing."