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M. tennis wins with balance, leadership from juniors

The men's tennis team hosted the Bruno Classic in memory of Margaux Powers —a supporter of the program who was murdered in May of last year — for the second time this year from Oct. 2-4. Boston College, Binghamton University and Georgetown University also competed in the tournament. The Bears exhibited a strong showing across the board, with every player who participated earning at least one victory in both singles and doubles. 

"We had a pretty good weekend with some good leadership from juniors Kendrick Au '11 and Charlie Posner '11," Head Coach Jay Harris wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.

Co-captain Au added that "the team came out of the long weekend with a lot of positives and a lot of things to work on. We are not where we ultimately want to be yet, but by exposing our weakness now, we can maximize our improvement."

Both Au and Posner played in singles and doubles matches. Au split his two singles matches, falling to Sven Vlodgraven of Binghamton on the first day in three grueling sets, 6-7, 6-0, 11-9, before defeating Mike Clarke of Georgetown on Saturday in two easy sets, 6-2, 6-3. Posner won both of his singles matches in two sets, first against Rafael Rodriguez of Binghamton, 6-0, 7-5, and then the next day against Anthony Tan of Georgetown, 6-2, 6-4. The two paired up for doubles on the first and third day and took one out of three matches. They both played doubles with other teammates on the second day.

"Charlie and I played together a fair amount last year," Au said. As for the changing of partners this weekend, Au explained that Harris "likes to mix it up early in the season because doubles is all about team chemistry."

When Au first started at Brown, he was more experienced in playing singles than doubles. But the high level of doubles play at Brown has taught him a lot about the doubles game and turned him into a "hybrid player," he said.

The younger members of the team also played well last weekend. Timothy Klanke '13 and Andrew Yazmer '12 lead the Bears with four wins each. Klanke competed in three singles matches and took two out of three. He also won two out of the three doubles matches he competed in, all with different partners. Yazmer won both of his doubles matches and two of his three singles matches. His only loss came late on Sunday when he played against Alex Skinner of Boston College, and fell, 6-4, 6-1. 

"It's exiting to see Andrew back on the court," Au said of the sophomore, who missed most of last year to injury. "It's important for him to be on the court. It's important to the team to have him in the lineup as well because he is a great player."

Au was also pleased with the way Klanke and the other freshmen have played so far.
"Tim is a fighter," Au said. "He responds to pressure well, always hitting the big shots at the right times. All of our freshmen have been adjusting well. Each one of them adds a spin to the program and brings dynamics to the team. They are all capable of contributing."
Personally, Au is looking forward to the next big tournament, the ITA Regional in two weeks. 

"I have played every weekend this season so far," Au said. "I feel sharp. I am hitting the ball as good as I ever have in the past two years. I am excited about Regionals. I am looking forward to having two weeks of good practice and then go out and compete."




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