Following successful tournaments at Duke and Penn two weekends ago, the men’s tennis team was looking forward to keeping that strong showing this past weekend at home as they hosted the Ivy-Plus Invitational at the Lenz Tennis Center Friday through Sunday.
Freshman Ryan Seggerman has been the talk of the team so far, starting the season off with a 6-1 record in his singles matches. Seggerman came to Princeton as the ranked senior. In his first weekend at Penn, he was 3-0; this past weekend, he was 3-1 in his singles matches. This past Saturday was a big day for Seggerman, who beat two ITA-ranked opponents, No. 68 Jimmy Bendeck of Baylor and No. 57 Lev Kazakov of Cornell, to advance to the final of the top draw at the tournament. Unfortunately, in Sunday’s final Seggerman lost 6-4, 6-3 to No. 188 Constant De La Bassetiere of Penn State.
“Ryan [Seggerman] didn’t quite serve as effectively as he did his previous three matches,” Head coach Billy Pate commented.
Another young star early on this season is sophomore Davey Roberts. At the Penn event two weekends ago, Roberts went 2-1 in his singles matches, winning 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday and 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday - a strong response after a tough three-set loss on Friday 2-6, 7-5, 6-0. Roberts carried this momentum through this past weekend in Princeton where he again went 2-1, with another tight three-set loss on Saturday 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. Saturday’s loss was bookended by two strong wins, both in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2 on Friday and 6-0, 6-4 on Sunday.
Coming out of the Ivy-Plus Invitational this past weekend, something Coach Pate wants to work on is getting “some doubles tandems” to start gelling together. Through Princeton’s first two tournaments, senior Ben Tso has been an anchor on the doubles team, having gone 3-2 in his doubles matches so far. Tso has played with a few different partners - including Roberts - this past weekend and Seggerman two weekends ago. Both of Tso’s two losses were very close, a positive sign for the Tigers going forward as it seems they have a good doubles foundation to build from.
Looking ahead, next on Princeton’s schedule is the Farnsworth Invitational next Friday through at home at the Cordish Family Pavilion and Lenz Tennis Center. The Tigers have had three players miss these first few tournaments with injuries, but these injured players are looking to make their return in either this tournament or at the ITA Northeast Regional tournament two weeks after in New Haven. Senior Luke Gamble is someone who should make an immediate impact when he returns to the court - looking to build on his season last year where he was Second-Team All-Ivy League in doubles and qualified for the NCAA Doubles Championship with Alex Day ’17, ranking as high as No. 13 in the country among doubles pairs.