TUCSON, Ariz. – With all the chips on the table and the match on the line, veteran senior Mario Urquidi came up big for the Wildcats, as he came back from a 5-2 deficit in the third set to win the tiebreaker 6-5 (7-5). The win gave Arizona the narrow 4-3 victory over Cal Poly on Friday.
“Mario did an awesome job stepping up for the team,” said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “Just a pure gritty effort on his part and he showed a lot of toughness out there.”
Urquidi put himself ahead early, defeating Jurgen De Jager in the first set 6-2. He fell in the second 6-3, setting up the decisive third set. Down 5-2, Urquidi mounted a massive comeback, winning four straight sets to take the match.
“I thought we handled adversity well today considering the conditions were different for us,” Berkowitz said. “We didn’t get a chance to practice yesterday because of the weather. It was a great challenge for the guys and they pulled through.”
The match began in similar fashion to the end, as Urquidi earned the Cats their first victory of the day along with sophomore Matt Dunn. The duo defeated Naveen Beasley and Ben Donovan 6-3. Shortly after, Fredrik Ask and Kieren Thompson beat Marco Comuzzo and Matt Thomson in a tiebreaking 6-5 win to give Arizona the 1-0 lead from the doubles point.
Naoki Takeda continued his success in the middle of the lineup, defeating Corey Pang in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 to give the Wildcats the early 2-0 lead.
Cal Poly tied it up in the next two matches, as Ask lost two close ones to Comuzzo 6-4, 7-5. Sumeet Shinde then fell 6-2, 6-2 to Donovan.
The two Australians split, as Kieren Thompson defeated Derek Klein 6-1, 7-5 and Will Kneale fell to Beasley 6-4, 6-4, knotting the match up at 3-3.
Arizona returns to action Sunday, Feb. 9 as they take on UC Santa Barbara at 12 p.m.
For continued coverage of Arizona men’s tennis, visit ArizonaWildcats.com, follow @ArizonaMTennis on Twitter and Instagram, and on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaMensTennis.