ATHENS, Ga. – Junior Denis Nguyen of the Harvard men’s tennis team continued his historic run in the NCAA men’s singles bracket Saturday, collecting his fourth win of the tournament to reach the semifinal round.
Nguyen, an at-large selection to the NCAA tournament, has already earned All-America accolades, becoming Harvard’s first All-American since Jonathan Chu ’05 (singles and doubles) and Ashwin Kumar ’08 (doubles) in 2005. Chu advanced to the semifinals of the 2005 men’s singles bracket, while James Blake made Harvard’s deepest run in the modern era, earning a berth in the NCAA championship match in 1999.
A quartet of straight-set victories is testament to Nguyen’s dominant play in this year’s bracket. The junior started the tournament by taking down Lloyd Glasspool of Texas, 6-4, 6-3, and officially earned All-America status with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Duke’s Fred Saba. Andrew Adams of South Carolina was Nguyen’s Round of 16 opponent, and Nguyen played a near flawless second set in an impressive, 6-4, 6-1 victory. In Saturday’s quarterfinal, Nguyen continued to control the pace of play, acing Florida’s Florent Diep on match point to seal a 6-2, 6-2 triumph.
“I think we’ve seen this potential in Denis from the beginning,” says his head coach Dave Fish ’72. “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.”
Nguyen will take on Alex Sarkissian of Pepperdine Sunday in the semifinal round.