Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
M Tennis Inks Four Freshmen
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 13, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 13, 2011

TUCSON - The University of Arizona men's tennis team has added four freshmen to their 2011 roster just before the team's spring season. In addition to freshman Mario Urquidi, who joined the team in the fall, the Wildcat's bring in four newcomers to the team's seven returners adding a strong depth to the Wildcat's roster.


"We are really excited about our freshman class," Berkowitz said.  "These guys are all tremendous players and they are going to help us both in singles and in doubles. Giacomo Miccini, Andre Vidaller, Sam Barr, Kieren Thompson, and Mario Urquidi, they are all going to be coming in and making an immediate impact as freshmen."


Urquidi, who will begin the second half of his freshman year, competed in three fall tournaments and finished with an overall 5-6 singles record. The native of El Paso, Texas, won his first collegiate title at the Wildcat's first fall tournament of the season, the NMSU Aggie Invite in September. Urquidi also saw action in doubles where he competed with Frank Chen (1-1), David Humphreys (1-1), and Tom Wolff (0-1), where he had a combined 2-3 doubles record.


Prior to his arrival in Arizona, Urquidi attended Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas where he played under high school tennis coach Jerry Pippins. The freshman also won the Southwest Junior Tennis Championships in June.


"Mario has all the tools to be a great collegiate player," Berkowitz said.  "He has the ability to adapt his game when going up against different opponents. I would have no problem putting him in the lineup in a big match situation."


Along with Urquidi, the Wildcat's four newest members arrived to Tucson from four different countries in the world. Miccini hails from Recanati, Italy, Vidaller is from Santos, Brazil, Thompson is from Brisbane Australia, while Barr is from Whakatane, New Zealand. 


"That's been a big reason for our success, not only the ability to bring in some of the good American players from around the country, but also if you want to be able to compete in the Pac-10 conference and be able to accomplish our goals, it's important for us to bring in some good in international talent as well," Berkowitz said.


Miccini, attended IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. He is a native of Recanati, Italy and is a top player who will play an important role for the Wildcats.


"Giacomo Miccini is one of the top players in the world and he's probably one of the best recruits we have ever had here at Arizona," Berkowitz said.  "Giacomo has a big time game with a great serve and overpowering groundstrokes. He was one of the best junior tennis players in the world and when you watch him play for just a short amount of time you will understand why."


Vidaller, a 5-foot-9 native of Santos, Brazil will major in business. The freshman graduated in 2008 and attended Adeneu High School and Stella Maris. 


"Andre has a true passion for the game of tennis," Berkowitz said.  "He has a tremendous work ethic which translates to his success on the tennis court.  He is a complete player and will use his groundstrokes to both set up and finish off the point."


Thompson, a 5-foot-11 freshman hails from Brisbane, Australia. He attended Marist Ashgrove high school and played under personal coach Chris Alderson. Thompson won the Kawana under-18 tournament on October 1, 2010 and he also won the Gladstone under-18 tournament.


"Kieren is a feisty competitor who definitely wears his heart on his sleeve," Berkowitz said.  "He will do whatever it takes to win a tennis match. He has a huge serve and aggressive left handed groundstrokes."


Barr, a 6-foot-2 pre-business major from Whakatane, New Zealand played under personal coach Clint Packer and has clinched numerous titles in both singles and doubles action. Barr won the New Zealand under-16 doubles championship in 2008 and finished third in the under-16 singles championship. He also won an under-18 international doubles championship in 2008 and was on the New Zealand under-18 team in 2008-09.


"Sam is the complete package," Berkowitz said.  "He is a big kid and he will use his size to step into the court and play aggressive.  Not only will he be a big help for us in singles but he will also improve our doubles lineup in a major way."


The seven Wildcat returners who finished 13-11 last season and lost three seniors to graduation will welcome the 2011 freshmen class as they prepare for their upcoming season. Vidaller and Thompson will represent the Wildcats in their first collegiate match on Friday at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in La Quinta, Calif.


"They all have a lot of experience playing worldwide and they are our future," Berkowitz added.  "They are going to be the guys that are going to be with us for four years keeping our program rolling."


2011-12 National Letter of Intent:

Along with this season's additions, Berkowitz announced the signing of Tucson native, Carlos Bermudez to a National Letter of Intent for the 2011-12 tennis season. Bermudez is a senior at Palo Verde high school. 

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