NEWPORT, R.I. – Kenyon College first-year Eric Zhang was named the United States Tennis Association (USTA) 2021-22 Rhode Island College Tennis Player of the Year. Zhang, from Barrington, Rhode Island, earned the Andy Chase Award as the Ocean State’s top male college player.
The award, given annually, goes to the state’s top male college player, who does not necessarily play for an in-state school. Zhang’s award will be presented at the INFOSYS Hall of Fame Open during USTA Day on Tuesday, July 12.
“We are thrilled to be able to present the award at the Hall of Fame tournament again,” said Douglas Chapman, president and CEO of USTA Rhode Island. “We were unable to do that the past two years due to COVID restrictions. Governor Dan McKee stepped up to present the awards last year at the Rhode Island State House. We are happy to be able to present them again during New England’s premier annual tennis event.”
Zhang had a strong rookie season for the Kenyon men, who finished with a 13-8 record in the highly-competitive North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). Zhang played at No. 3 and No. 4 singles in the Kenyon lineup and finished with 14 victories, including a 12-6 dual match record. He also had 10 wins in doubles play and, at the end of the season, earned second team All-NCAC honors.
In 2021, Zhang captured the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s (RIIL) state singles championship.
The state award is named in honor of Andy Chase, who was the US National 16 & Under Hardcourt Singles Champion and a two-time national junior doubles champion. He won two RIIL state singles championships and went on to play at Stanford University, where he was a teammate of John McEnroe. The Cardinal won three NCAA Division I team championships during his four years in Palo Alto, California.