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Men’s Tennis: Andrews falls at indoor championships in NYC

Brian Hartnett | Sunday, November 10, 2013

Senior Greg Andrews’s run toward a national championship came to an end in the round of 16 Friday, as he fell 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 to Oklahoma freshman Andrew Harris in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

Andrews got off to a strong start in the match, as he took the first set, 6-2.

“[Harris] started off by making a few errors, and I was really able to capitalize,” Andrews said.

Harris rebounded to claim a 7-5 victory in the next set and followed it up with a 6-3 victory in the third to seal the victory.

“Starting in the second set, Harris really started to serve well, and I wasn’t getting as many returns,” Andrews said. “He also made some big returns off some of my serves. I don’t think my level of play dropped. He elevated his game, and he just got even better as the match went on.”

Although he is only in his first year of college tennis, Harris, who won the doubles titles at the Junior Wimbledon Championships and Roland Garros Junior French Championships in 2012, showed his experience on the big stage, Andrews said.

“He’s a great player, and he’ll do really well for Oklahoma this year,” he said of Harris. “He’s very experienced at playing big matches at a very high level.”

After defeating Andrews, Harris lost in Friday’s quarterfinal round to No. 8 seed Illinois sophomore Jared Hiltzik. No. 6 seed UCLA junior Clay Thompson took home the national title after he defeated Hiltzik in Sunday’s championship match.

With the loss, Andrews concluded a fall season that saw him advance to the championship match of the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships on Oct. 21 and compete in last month’s ITA All-American Championships.

Andrews also earned a victory over No. 4 seed Georgia sophomore Austin Smith in Thursday’s first round of the National Indoor Championships.

“Playing the All-American Championships earlier showed me that I could compete with anyone,” Andrews said. “This tournament reaffirmed my confidence, since I beat a top seed and had competitive matchups with great players. The biggest takeaway [from the tournament] would be that I could include myself in this top group of players.”

Andrews and the rest of the Irish will not compete again until Jan. 17, when they begin their spring season with a match against William & Mary. Notre Dame will start ACC play when it hosts Virginia Tech on Feb. 28.

“Our main goal is to stay confident,” Andrews said. “We want to focus on results but also really focus on the process, on getting better every day and continuing to improve.”

Contact Brian Hartnett at
bhartnet@nd.edu.