Ten years ago, the 2010-11 Cornell men’s tennis team shattered records by winning the Ivy League and ECAC Indoor titles, while posting the most wins in program history. Although sports are still on hold, it marks the decennial celebration of a team that reinvigorated the Red for a decade.
The success of the season was primarily dictated by the leadership of highly successful collegiate coach Tony Bresky and a stacked core of five seniors.
2010-11 was the Red’s first and only season under the helm of head coach Tony Bresky, who was formerly the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year at longtime ACC frontrunner University of Virginia. Bresky left Cornell to become the head coach for Wake Forest University, leading the program to its first NCAA Championship in 2018.
Just as critical to the Red’s success was the leadership of the 2010-11 senior class, headlined by four players selected to the All-Ivy roster, an honor granted to the best players in the Ivy League.
At the top singles positions, seniors Jonathan Jaklitsch and Andy Gauthier both held winning records and earned first-team All-Ivy singles honors. Additionally, seniors Jeremy Feldman, Evan Bernstein and Jonathan Jaklitsch were selected for All-Ivy doubles honors.
Feldman, Cornell’s first Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2008, earned second-team All-Ivy honors in 2010-11 after a solid season playing No. 1 and No. 2 doubles with teammate Andy Gauthier. During the season, the duo posted a 3-4 conference and 15-10 overall record.
The star-studded roster dominated the Ivy League, notching close victories over Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown, Yale and Princeton in addition to convincing wins over Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania.
That season Cornell claimed its first outright Ivy League title after a perfect 7-0 slate of Ivy League play and a conference-best 26-4 regular season dual match record. The season also featured the Red’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
Beyond Ivy League play, the Red showcased its strength with victories over reputable NCAA programs — including Virginia Commonwealth University, Old Dominion and Furman. Cornell only conceded regular season losses to four schools.
In a dramatic 4-3 win over Binghamton University, Cornell claimed its first ECAC Indoor Championship in program history on Feb. 19, 2011. Senior Evan Bernstein fought back from a set down to win a three-set match-clinching victory at the No. 4 singles spot.
The team also embarked on its first-ever NCAA Tournament trip, losing to the ITA 24th ranked University of Louisville in a 4-0 defeat. During the match, the Red exhibited a strong showing that featured two three-set singles matches and an eventual tiebreaker.
Other members of the team carried on their senior’s success — the other primary doubles team, consisting of Bernstein and Jaklitsch, throttled Ivy League opponents for a perfect 7-0 record in conference play and a 16-7 regular season dual match record. Both seniors were selected to the First-Team All-Ivy doubles roster.
To round out the lineup, freshmen Zhongming Chen and Venkat Iyer competed at singles spots for the team and freshman Evan McElwain competed in both singles and doubles, boasting a 24-8 doubles and 10-2 singles record in dual match play.
Following Bresky’s departure in 2011, head coach Silviu Tanasoiu has continued to guide the Red to successful seasons that have echoed the feats of the notable 2010-11 campaign.
Tanasoiu led the program to an additional Ivy League title in 2016-17, which also represented the Red’s first at-large NCAA tournament berth and a program-best ITA 26th team ranking, holding a 22-4 record.
Most recently, during the 2019-20 season, Cornell once again claimed the ECAC Indoor Championship with a stellar 4-1 victory over rival Harvard.