Sports | Tennis

Men's tennis will play all-Columbia doubles final at Savitt Center

Men’s tennis will play a rare all-Columbia doubles match at home on Tuesday in the ITA Northeast Regional Championship final.

The tournament took place at Penn this past weekend, but when two Columbia pairs—senior Shawn Hadavi and first-year Jackie Tang, and senior Richard Pham and younger brother sophomore Victor Pham—advanced to the final round, head coach Bid Goswami asked to bring the match back home.

“I told them that I respected the integrity of the tournament,” Goswami said. “I wanted to not waste a full day and night there, so I asked them if we could play the match at home.”

Goswami and the team received an exception from ITA allowing the match to be played at Columbia’s Dick Savitt Center, where an official will observe the match to ensure it is played according to ITA regulations.

“We will have an official come to the match,” Goswami said. “We made sure we cleared everything with ITA, and it was important to play the match tomorrow for seeding ramifications.”

The match also holds importance for next week’s ITA National Indoor Championship, which will be played in nearby Flushing Meadows, New York. Even though Columbia is guaranteed to have a pair advance, Goswami assured that the match would be competitive.

This will mark the first time the team has played at home all season. But to Goswami, it is more important that the team be home to attend classes, as the fall season lends itself to long tournaments during which classes are often skipped. Many members of the team found themselves taking midterms in hotels, and Goswami felt it was important to return the team home so that they could all focus on school.

Should Tang advance, it would represent a quasi-homecoming for the Hong Kong native, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the Junior US Open Championship two months ago. But either way, Goswami came away pleased that Columbia would send a team to the National Indoor Championships—a testament to the team’s hard work amid a sporadic fall slate.

The match will begin at 3 p.m. and will be the first men’s match held at the Savitt Center since the dual season commenced a year ago.

christopher.lopez@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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