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Litsky '20 looks back on Brown tennis career

Senior earned career best 10-1-2 singles record in shortened season

Peter Litsky ’20 closed out his senior season on a hot streak, winning his final eight completed singles matches and leading the men's tennis team to victories against Yale, Michigan State University and Boston College. Despite dropping his first set 2-6 against his Michigan State opponent, Litsky came back in dominant fashion to win the final two sets 6-0, 6-2. Competing out of the number two and three spots in singles and the number two spot in doubles with main partner Teddy van Eck '21, Litsky boosted Bruno to a 9-4 record this season. But Litsky’s college tennis career came to an early end after his season was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

In Litsky's junior campaign, he tied for the team lead in doubles victories with 11. Before coming to Brown, Litsky was a two-time Florida high school singles state champion and ranked number two in Florida’s 16s and 18s United States Tennis Association rankings. For his contributions to the tennis team throughout his time at Brown and a standout senior season, Litsky has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.  

Herald: What was the team’s initial reaction to the cancellation of the spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Litsky: Everyone was obviously very disappointed, but after a certain period of time, we realized that it was what needed to be done. So we all just focused on enjoying what we had while we had it. We were (on campus) for a little less than a week before we all went home. We just spent a lot of time together talking about all the memories we had, and all the guys who are coming back next year took time to look forward to what they have in the years to come.

 Was there time to give the seniors any formal sendoff?

We had a team dinner with the coaches on our last day, if that qualifies as a sendoff. (The seniors) also had our own meetings together to reminisce.

Has the team coordinated virtually at all since leaving campus?

Yeah, we've all kept in contact and been pretty up to date on what everybody's doing. It hasn't been like practicing or anything, but we've all stayed in touch.

What was the best part of being on the Brown tennis team?

Getting to have this close-knit group of guys over the four-year span, because compared to most other teams, tennis has a pretty small roster ... so you spend a lot of time together and get pretty close with each other. That’s the best part, getting to have this super close group of friends and guys you can count on and guys that you know you'll be close with many years down the line.

What was the most memorable match of your Brown career?

(In 2019) when we beat Yale away to start Ivy league play. Yale is actually one of our rivals, so that was a really big match for us, and the last couple years before that were pretty hard years for us within the conference. So starting the year off with a win, away and against one of our closest rivals, was pretty exciting. It made us more excited for the rest of the season.

What are you most proud of accomplishing on the court at Brown?

I had been playing pretty low in the lineup for my first two years — my (first) year I played five and six, and my sophomore year, I didn't really play too much in the matches towards the end of the year. But by my junior year, I started playing a lot higher in the lineup and winning more matches. So that was a bit surprising and a bit more exciting. 

Team-wise, sophomore year we beat Princeton away. We were last in the Ivy conference my freshman year, and sophomore year we had lost our first couple of matches and also had to pull a couple of guys out of the lineup due to injuries. I’d say Princeton is in the top half of teams in the league, and we still beat them pretty convincingly. That was surprising and exciting.

What role will tennis play in your life after Brown?

I'll try and play recreationally when I can. It's a bit of a tricky sport to play, especially if you're living up North and you're not on a team, because you've got to buy court time. ... But whenever I can I’ll use it as a way of staying in shape, remembering what I had with college tennis and playing at Brown.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.



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