After six days of competition in New Haven, junior Winston Lin became the 2013 men’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast Regional singles champion on Wednesday. Lin, No. 54 in the nation, continued his dominant play, losing just one set in the tournament.
Lin has been able to play so confidently and so consistently primarily as a result of the work he put in during the offseason.
“A lot of the success comes from stuff I did over the summer,” Lin said Tuesday. “I was able to work out a lot and play a lot of tennis, which definitely made a difference.”
The result of this hard work was a pretty easy road to the finals for Lin, who automatically advanced to the second round with a first-round bye. He defeated Lucas Da Silveira of Brown 6-2, 6-3 in his first match and then pushed through the third round, in which he beat Princeton’s Zach McCourt 6-4, 6-2. After that, it was smooth sailing into the semi-finals, as Lin blew past Cornell’s Jason Luu and Chris Vrabel 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-0, respectively.
For the semifinals, Lin defeated another Big Red opponent, Sam Fleck, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the final.
Lin came out a little flat in the final, however, when he lost the first set 6-3 to Harvard’s Denis Nguyen. But he was able to overcome the early slump to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-1 and bring a title home to Morningside Heights.
“I started off really bad, and he came out swinging, and he was playing really well,” Lin said. “The whole first set I was trying to stop his momentum, trying to mess him up, and trying to get myself going.”
In addition to Lin, junior standout Max Schnur had a strong showing in singles play. He defeated Light Blue sophomore Dragos Ignat in the quarterfinals before losing to Nguyen in the semis. This bodes very well for the Lions for the upcoming spring season and beyond.
“Three out of the eight guys in the finals were from Columbia,” Lin said. “It was unfortunate that those two had to play each other. I think they both could have won if they played other guys.”
But for now, the focus is on Lin and whomever the Lions select to be their wildcard player at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
“I’m going to take a couple days off, then I’ll have two weeks to get ready,” Lin said. “I’m going to work on maintaining my fitness.”
Nationals will begin Nov. 7 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.