Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Men?s Tennis Continues Pac-10 Play
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 10, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week for the Wildcats: The Arizona men’s tennis team (5-14) continues a difficult tour through the Pac-10 this week as they travel north to face the Universities of Oregon (9-11) and No. 34 Washington (13-6). The Ducks will be hosting the match at their home facility in Eugene, Ore. on Friday, April 13, at 1:30 p.m. Two days later, Arizona will be in Seattle, Wash. to take on the Huskies at 1:00 p.m.


Last week: The Wildcats faced the Pac-10’s two top teams, who are also among the top 10 in the nation. On April 6, No. 8 Southern California improved their impressive record to 18-1 behind a dominant display from their doubles teams. The following day, the Wildcats remained in Los Angeles to take on No. 10 UCLA. The Bruins were at full strength and took down Arizona 7-0. The only win for the Wildcats from the weekend came from sophomore Peter Zimmer, who defeated Southern California’s Robert Farah 2-6, 6-3, (11-9) in a match decided by a tiebreaker in place of a third set.


Against Oregon: Last spring, Arizona defeated Oregon in a 7-0 sweep on April 7. Historically, the Wildcats hold a 10-2 advantage over the Ducks.


Scouting the Ducks: Oregon had a successful first half of the season, winning seven of their first nine matches. During that period, the Ducks earned themselves a spot in the national rankings, peaking at No. 69. Oregon has gone 2-9 since that period, however, falling out of the rankings on Feb. 27. They are in the midst of a five-match skid and are currently the only Pac-10 team, along with Arizona, without a conference win.


Against Washington: In their last meeting on the tennis court, the Huskies defeated the Wildcats 5-2 in a tightly contested dual. The win for Washington evened the all-time series record between the two teams at 10-10.


Scouting the Huskies:  Washington began the season ranked No. 16 and climbed as high as No. 10. They hovered around the teens until mid March before a pair of consecutive losses to highly ranked teams dropped them over ten spots. They have maintained their spot in the low thirties despite only having picked up one conference win. The Huskies are led by a trio of seniors: Daniel Chu, Michael Ricks, and their No. 1, Alex Slovic.


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. 83.

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 USC ranks the highest among Pac-10 teams at No. 8. Perennial powerhouse UCLA is not far behind at No. 10, with Washington next at No. 34. Cal-Berkeley is No. 42 and Arizona State is at No. 49, one spot ahead of No. 50 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.


Next Week: The Arizona men’s tennis team will be playing its last match of the season before heading into the Pac-10 Championships. The final match will be held on April 21 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Complex, and will feature the Wildcats taking on in-state rival No. 49 Arizona State (11-8). The match is scheduled to begin at noon.

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