After a tremendous performance in the men’s tennis opening match against Colby Sawyer, senior Tiago Fernandes of Porto, Portugal rallied his way into the semifinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) East Regional Championships at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 25.
With his strong showing, Fernandes became the first man in program history to reach the semifinals of the tournament.
Because he battled an illness throughout the entirety of the tournament, Fernandes fell just one match short of the final. Although he played well, he feels he could have performed even better.
“I coughed the entire match,” Fernandes said. “It was a two-and-a-half hour long match. It was very competitive, but I didn’t do as well as I could’ve. If I wasn’t sick, I may have been able to pull away with the win.”
Fernandes lost in a hard-fought battle in three sets to eventual winner Matej Selecky of New York Institute of Technology. He lost the first set 6-2 before clawing back to capture the second set 7-5. Fernandes was too fatigued, however, and lost some of his mental toughness, and ultimately lost the final set 6-1.
“At this level the game is very mental, so if you’re good mentally you can make it through a lot of rounds.”