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A Memorable Experience

As a first time captain for Men’s Tri-Level, Bryant Ung, who resides in San Francisco, CA, wanted to create a team just to participate in the Tri-Level Team Tournament. Little did he know his team of players out of Golden Gate Park, would make it to the finals and face off against Greg Roberts, a seasoned captain also out of San Francisco, to then qualify for the BNP Paribas Tri-Level Invitational Tournament and finish second in the nation!

“To be honest, I cared more about playing, having fun and competing than winning,” Ung said. “But I am so happy for the team and proud of them for how we did. We had so much fun together!”

But the road to the BNP Paribas Tri-Level Invitational Tournament was far from easy and only made the trip to Indian Wells Tennis Garden that much sweeter. During the Tri-Level Team Tournament, Bryant’s team fought through tough matches to make it out of the playoffs and make their way into the finals against Greg Roberts’ team. “Greg Roberts had a tough team, I know he captained the men’s 4.0 team that won Nationals. Greg has a lot of experience captaining and represented NorCal at Tri-Level Nationals last year,” said Ung. “Prior to the match, I told my guys that we made it further than I thought and to go out there and have fun. I think this helped take some pressure off my players.” The finals was full of excitement, as the 3.5 and 4.0 line were able to clinch the win.

Back Row L-R: Diego Legrand, Michael White, Ian Braunstein, Jaco Raubenheimer, Akash Zaveri. Front Row L-R: Wesley Chen, Vikas Punna, Jim Truong, Kaisen Chen, Will Tan and Bryant Ung.

Although Bryant told his team to enjoy the competition, they practiced a lot before the Invitational Tournament to get ready. One thing they couldn’t predict however was the temperature. “It was very hot for us, the temperature was around 90 degrees and sometimes went up to 100 degrees.” But the weather didn’t faze Bryant’s team that took on one opponent at a time. “We were very pumped up and excited to be a part of this, but we saw quickly that the level had raised a lot between the tournament and the Invitational.” In a nail-biting second match, his 3.5 and 4.5 line-ups came through, upsetting a clear contender. In the semifinal match, once again, his team was the underdog, playing the Hawaii Pacific section, which hadn’t dropped a set throughout the entire flight. “We played really well against Hawaii, using a lot of strategy to beat them and be on top of our game. We ended up beating them 3-0, but they were really tough.”

The final was close as well, but the Southern section prevailed in a 2-1 victory that was decided by just a few points. “They played really well and deserve to win,” said Ung. In the midst of all this excitement, Bryant and his team still had time to enjoy the surroundings and be around the pros. “It was very competitive tennis overall and having umpires there made it feel like you were playing like the pros. And the NorCal women’s team stayed to cheer us on, so the support definitely helped.”

Looking back on his first experience as captain, Bryant couldn’t have asked for a better scenario. “All the members of the team were really supportive and the atmosphere at Indian Wells was amazing!”

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