TUCSON, Ariz. – The men’s tennis team will head to Albuquerque, N.M. to kick off their dual season on Friday Jan. 17. They’re slated to compete against No. 72 New Mexico, No. 67 Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and UC Irvine throughout the weekend.
The Cats will play three double headers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a total of six dual matches. On Friday Arizona plays Texas A&M Corpus Christi at 9 a.m. and follows with a 12:30 p.m. match against UC Irvine. The Cats rematch UC Irvine at 9 a.m. on Saturday before taking on New Mexico at 7:30 p.m. The weekend concludes with Sunday matches vs. Corpus Christi at 4 p.m. and New Mexico at 7 p.m.
“The guys are in great shape right now,” said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “They should be very confident knowing that they can last, especially through three straight double headers.”
The three days of double headers is part of an experimental format proposed by USTA. The event will begin with singles matches, and matches will stop once a team reaches four points. Doubles will be played as an overtime if singles matches end in a 3-3 tie. The decisive doubles match will consist of 10-point tiebreakers, with the winner taking the best two of three.
Arizona returns nine players from last season, headed by seniors Kieren Thompson, Fredrik Ask and Mario Urquidi.
Ask posted a record of 8-5 in the individual fall season, while Thompson went 4-5 and Urquidi 3-4.
Juniors Sumeet Shinde, Robin Chou and Carlos Bermudez enter the spring with records of 4-3, 2-2, and 3-3 respectively.
This year’s returning sophomores include Naoki Takeda, who went 7-5 in the fall, and Matt Dunn, who went 7-4.
Arizona’s sole newcomer, sophomore transfer Trevor James, heads into spring undefeated at Arizona with a 4-0 record.
On Texas A&M Corpus Christi
No. 67 Texas A&M Corpus Christi, coached by 2013 ITA Coach of the Year in Texas Steve Moore, is coming off their sixth straight Southland Conference Championship. The team has one senior, Matt Westmoreland, and one junior, Pietro Jordao, with seven underclassmen. As a junior, Westmoreland went 14-9 with a 6-0 record in conference play.
On New Mexico
No. 72 New Mexico is led by junior Samir Iftikhar, currently ranked No. 45 nationally. Additionally, the Lobos return one senior, another junior, and one sophomore.
On UC Irvine
Irvine comes off a Big West regular season title and returns senior Ryan Cheung, who has 32 career singles wins. Sophomore Tyler Pham returns as well, coming off a All-Big West first team season in singles.
For continued coverage of Arizona men’s tennis, visit ArizonaWildcats.com, follow @ArizonaMTennis on Twitter and Instagram, and on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaMensTennis.