Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Men?s Tennis Travels to Ojai for Pac-10 Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 25, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week for the Wildcats: The Arizona men’s tennis team (5-17) heads to Ojai, Calif. this week to compete in the Pac-10 Individual Tennis Championships. The tournament begins on April 26, and lasts through the 29th.


Last week: The Wildcats completed their final home match of the season, a tough 4-3 loss to No. 46 Arizona State (13-9)). The doubles point was eventually decided by the match taking place on court two, which looked unfortunate for the Wildcats as their team of Ravid Hezi and Bruno Alcala were down a break 4-7 against Nick Hegarty and Juan Carlos Rebaza. Alcala and Hezi fought back, though, and pushed the match to eight-all. In the tiebreaker, Arizona’s duo came away with a 7-3 victory, giving the Wildcats a one point lead. In singles, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 2-1 lead with victories at the four and two positions. Peter Zimmer tied things up for Arizona in a straight set win over Hegarty before Jason Labrosse fell to Marsh in a close three-setter. With their team down 3-2, the Wildcats needed wins from both Christen and Alex Labrosse. Labrosse kept the Wildcats in contention, defeating Marsh 6-1 in the third set. The dual came down to the match on court one featuring Christen and Arizona State’s Matt Brooklyn. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, Christen broke serve to take the second 6-4. In the third, Christen was able to break again, and looked poised to put the match away serving at 5-4. Brooklyn came up big, though, and forced the match into another tiebreaker. Brooklyn prevailed, holding off the Wildcat charge and securing the victory 4-3.


Tough Luck: In a season marred by tight losses, the Wildcats came into the day hoping to go out on a high mark by upsetting their instate rival. Despite their best efforts, another 4-3 loss was the result, Arizona’s sixth of the year.


Labrosse Honored: Before the match, the Wildcats honored Jason Labrosse as a part of the Senior Day tradition. Labrosse has another year of eligibility athletically after redshirting as a freshman, but is a senior academically and has opted to graduate. “I’ve had a lot of valuable experiences both on and off the court here at Arizona, but I’m ready to take those experiences and use them in the business world,” said Labrosse.


Pac-10 Championships: The Pac-10 championships will again be the featured event at this year's 107th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which attracts 1600 of the best college, junior and open players from the Western states. The annual event, started by William Thacher in 1896, has been played at the same site, and interrupted only five times. The Pac-10 men will be competing at Libbey Park. “It’s an opportunity for the guys to put an exclamation on the end of their year individually,” said assistant coach Tom Lloyd.


Past Winners: This combination of genteel hospitality and community spirit has played host to many of the great tennis players of this century, including: Bill Tilden, Ellsworth Vines, Helen Wills Moody, Tony Trabert, Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer, Louise Brough, Maureen Connolly, Gussie Moran, Arthur Ashe, Billy Jean King, Pancho Gonzales, Alex Olmedo, Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors. Michael Chang, Lindsay Davenport, Pete Sampras, Rick Leach, Taylor Dent and the Bryan twins. May Sutton Bundy, who won 18 Ojai titles between 1902 and 1928, was the first American to win at Wimbledon. Local favorites Mike and Bob Bryan have won multiple Grand Slam titles together, and are currently ranked No. 1 in the world in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race. Last year's Pac-10 men’s winners were Matt Bruch of Stanford and the doubles team of Mathieu Dehaine and Jeremy Drean from UCLA.


The Championships on TV: As part of its affiliation with the Pac-10, FOX Sports Net will again broadcast coverage of this year's competition from Libbey Park on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29, 2007.


Big News: The men’s tennis coaches made two big announcements this past week. First, a new volunteer assistant will be joining their staff in the fall, ATP professional Taylor Dent. In addition, they announced the official signing of Jay Goldman to a national letter of intent. The additions of Goldman, a five-star recruit, and Dent will surely create a buzz about Arizona tennis heading into next season.


Wildcats in the Rankings: All ties in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings have been broken. As a result, the Wildcats no longer remain tied for No. 75. Claudio Christen is Arizona’s only ranked singles player at No. 122.


Fall Action: Fall tournament results were sporadic for Arizona, with some players falling in the early rounds while others pulled out unexpected victories. The Wildcats ended their tournament schedule on a high note as Bruno Alcala and Claudio Christen teamed up to reach the semifinals of the ITA West Regional Championships. The team’s only sophomore, Tucson’s own Peter Zimmer, compiled the best record through the fall at 7-3. Christen pulled the biggest upset of the fall, defeating Baylor’s Michal Kokta, who was No. 23 in the nation at the time.


Pac-10 Elite: Once again the Pac-10 is the premier conference in the nation for men’s tennis. In the current rankings perennial powerhouse UCLA ranks the highest among Pac-10 teams at No. 8. USC is not far behind at No. 10, with Washington next at No. 32. Cal-Berkeley is No. 39 and Arizona State is at No. 46, twelve spots ahead of No. 58 Stanford. The Arizona Wildcats are currently one of the bubble teams on the outside. Oregon joins them as the only Pac-10 men’s tennis teams not ranked.

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