By Alexa Corse
After notching an outstanding winning record (26-12) as a freshman playing at the No. 1 spot, sophomore Tom Fawcett spent the summer focusing on further developing his game. Last weekend his hard work paid off when he reached the semifinals in the most competitive tournament of the fall, the Saint Francis ITA All-American Championships.
The tournament was Fawcett’s first collegiate competition of the year. His impressive result set a high note and earned him an automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November.
Men’s tennis coach Paul Goldstein said Fawcett dedicated himself to developing new aspects of his game last year, and that his most recent result is the fruit of months of effort.
“He undertook some significant developmental changes towards the end of his freshman year and the beginning of the summer,” Goldstein said. “He was incorporating some new things into his game, and to see him execute on those a couple months later was really exciting for us all to see.”
Fawcett said he was specifically working on his serve, his forehand and moving forward to the net so he can play more aggressively.
His tournament run ended in a 6-3, 6-2 loss to University of Virginia’s Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, who dealt Fawcett a loss in the second round of doubles play as well. Fawcett and his partner, senior Maciek Romanowicz, fell 6-3, 6-4 to Kwiatkowski and his partner.
Goldstein added that he hopes Fawcett’s latest success will contribute to the team’s energy as another year of competition begins. The men’s team is coming off a breakthrough season, which included earning a share of the Pac-12 regular season championship for the first time since 2010 and upset victories over Cal, USC and UCLA.
“One of the most important things we’re trying to do here is to create a culture whereby guys on the team are pushing each other to get better every day,” Goldstein said. “For the rest of the team, who are practicing with Tom every day, to see that kind of result should really push and motivate them to have similar types of results.”
In addition to Fawcett, several men’s and women’s Stanford players competed at the ITA All-American Championships, which draw the top Division 1 players in the nation. The tournament came at the beginning of four months of individual tournaments before team competitions in the spring.
Junior Taylor Davidson reached the quarterfinals, and junior Caroline Doyle notched one win at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, California. Senior Krista Hardebeck notched one win in the qualifying draw. In doubles, Davidson and freshman Caroline Lampl lost 8-6 in the first round of the main draw.
In the qualifying tournament that preceded the main event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Cardinal men’s team was consistent. Romanowicz, sophomores David Hsu and David Wilczynski and freshman Michael Genender all won their first matches before losing in the second round of the qualifying draw. Freshman Sameer Kumar was unable to maintain the one-win pattern after losing 6-4, 7-6 (3) in a closely contested first round match. In the pre-qualifying tournament, senior Nolan Paige won one match.
The men’s team picks up play again at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships from Oct. 23-27 in Seattle. The women’s team will return home to The Farm to host the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships from Oct. 22-26.
Contact Alexa Corse at corsea ‘at’ stanford.edu.