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Hjorth's Heroics Complete No. 32 Cal's Win Over Yale

Mar 19, 2022
Playing his third three-setter this week, Philip Hjorth rallied from a third-set deficit to win and clinch Cal's victory over Yale on Saturday.

BERKELEY – Cal men's tennis senior Philip Hjorth rallied from a big deficit in the third set to defeat Yale's Theo Dean, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, and give the 32nd-ranked Golden Bears a 4-3 victory over the Bulldogs on a rainy Saturday at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
 
With the nonconference win – its sixth win in a row overall – Cal improved its record to 9-3. Yale is 8-5.
 
"It's one of my favorite matches for sure in my college history," said Kris Kwinta, Cal's Peter Wright Director of Men's Tennis. "What Phil did was amazing coming back from 2-5 down, being completely physically spent but just never giving up. It was amazing and impressive. I'm so happy for him. He deserves it.
 
"To put the team on his back in that moment, it was impressive. I hope the younger guys watched that and take that as a learning experience for what they need to do to win and be competitive."
 
Due to rain in the San Francisco Bay Area, Saturday's match was delayed from 2 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Hellman's outdoor courts.
 
Yale took a 1-0 lead after doubles. The Bulldogs won on court two and then on court three, with Yale's Walker Oberg and Michael Sun edging Cal's Hjorth and Alex Chang, 7-5, to secure the doubles point.
 
After getting singles wins from Carl Emil Overbeck, Sean Hill and Yuta Kikuchi, Cal led Yale 3-1. The Bulldogs knotted the match at 3-3 when Aidan Reilly beat Cal freshman Derrick Chen, 7-6(4), 6-2, on court five.
 
Hjorth – playing in his third consecutive three-set singles match – rebounded from dropping the first set to Dean to take the second and then battled to tie the third set at 5-5. He won a break point to take a 6-5 lead over Dean and then hit a backhand volley at the net to complete his win over the Bulldog.
 
"I had chances in the beginning of the third set and was a bit unlucky not to capitalize, and then I got broken," Hjorth said. "But I was really just trusting that what I was doing was good enough and was sticking with it, which eventually led to me pulling through."
 
Cal plays again on Sunday at 5 p.m., when the Bears host Cal Poly at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
 
No. 32 California (9-3) defeated Yale (8-5), 4-3
March 19, 2022, in Berkeley, Calif.
Hellman Tennis Complex
 
Doubles
1. No. 17 Yuta Kikuchi/Carl Emil Overbeck (Cal) vs. Renaud Lefevre/Cody Lin (Yale), 4-5 (Unfinished)
2. Theo Dean/Aidan Reilly (Yale) def. Sean Hill/Lucas Magnaudet (Cal), 6-4
3. Walker Oberg/Michael Sun (Yale) def. Alex Chang/Philip Hjorth (Cal), 7-5*
 
Order of Finish – 2, 3*
*Clinched the doubles point
 
Singles
1. No. 91 Yuta Kikuchi (Cal) def. No. 75 Michael Sun (Yale), 6-2, 6-3
2. Philip Hjorth (Cal) def. Theo Dean (Yale), 3-6, 6-4, 7-5^
3. Sean Hill (Cal) def. Cody Lin (Yale), 6-2, 6-2
4. Carl Emil Overbeck (Cal) def. Shervin Dehmoubed (Yale), 6-0, 6-2
5. Aidan Reilly (Yale) def. Derrick Chen (Cal), 7-6(4), 6-2
6. Luke Neal (Yale) def. Lucas Magnaudet (Cal), 6-2, 6-2
 
Order of Finish – 4, 6, 3, 1, 5, 2^
^Clinched the overall match