Kumar and Ermakov Advance at All-Americans: Winning 8-7 Against Tough Arkansas Opponent
Senior Ashwin Kumar and Sasha Ermakov won their first round contest at the All-American Championships at the University of Tulsa's Micheal D. Case Tennis Center advancing to the round of sixteen. After attending Wednesday classes and sections Ashwin and Sasha flew with Coach Rueb to Tulsa, arriving late in evening before their match the next day. College doubles, even at individual tournaments, are eight game pro-sets. The Harvard duo warmed up for several hours to hit the ground running in their short contest against Arkansas' top tandem of Colin Mascall and Blake Strode. The match was a lesson in grit and patience as Kumar-Ermakov held serve like pros but couldn't find the key to break. After missing several break chances, the Razorbacks broke Kumar with an impressive return game, putting the Crimson in a real hole. Both teams held until Arkansas served for the match at 7-6 when Kumar and Ermakov stayed positive and took advantage of the serving yips which resulted in three double faults. From that point, the match stayed tight as it went into the tiebreaker to determine the outcome. Kumar served down 5-4 with great confidence to bring the Crimson to match point at 6-5. Ermakov made a strong return and Kumar pinched the middle and stabbed a winning volley up the middle to give Harvard the win.
The Crimson faces the Crimson Tide's Dan Buikema and Matt Thibaudeau in the round of sixteen later today. Stay Tuned.