By Shan Reddy
The Cardinal men’s tennis team ended the 2018 season ranked seventh in the ITA National College Tennis Rankings, and second in Pac-12 rankings only to UCLA, ranked third nationally. The preseason ITA poll listed Stanford at 10th in the country going into 2019.
After going 22-4 in regular dual match season play in 2018, the Cardinal lost three strong contributors in Tom Fawcett, Eric Fomba and David Wilczynski. However, the team did retain several key members from last spring, including sophomore Axel Geller, junior William Genesen and seniors Sameer Kumar and Michael Genender.
The team started the 2019 season strong with a dominating win over Saint Mary’s this past Sunday, taking all seven of the matches played.
The two teams convened on Saturday at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium, before rain forced a rescheduling of the match to Sunday.
Geller was the first player to grab a win in the dual match, crushing Gaels junior Matis Bot (6-1, 6-2) in singles. He was joined a few minutes later by Stanford freshman Alexandre Rotsaert, who took down junior Abhishek Bastola (6-1, 6-2). Geller and Rotsaert teamed up in doubles to defeat Bastola/Krutik (6-2) in the final match of the day.
Redshirt junior Jack Barber defeated Brian Lee (6-2, 6-1) in his sole match of the day, making quick work of the Gaels senior on court five. The next match to finish up saw Stanford’s 5’8” sophomore Timothy Sah take down Saint Mary’s towering 6’9” freshman James Watt, who was signed to the Gaels squad only a month ago out of New Zealand.
With the match score at 4-0, Stanford had already taken the day, but the team continued to stack up wins. Geneder took down Gaels freshman David Abfalter (7-5, 6-1) and Kumar/Sah defeated Bot/Kesaris (7-5) before Geneder/Genesen finished the day by handily beating Abfalter/Watt (6-2).
Stanford repeated last year’s 7-0 blowout of the Gaels and extended its all-time record against Saint Mary’s to 8-0. The Cardinal will host Santa Clara on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and will remain on campus to face UCF on Jan. 26.
Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’ stanford.edu.