This Week: The Arizona men’s tennis team (12-9, 3-4) hits the road again this weekend for the Pacific-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif., from April 27-30. Bruno Alcala, Claudio Christen, Jeff Groslimond and Roger Matalonga will represent Arizona in singles. Groslimond and Christen along with Alcala and Peter Zimmer will compete in doubles.
Pac-10 Championships: The Pac-10’s eight teams compete in Ojai, Calif., this Thursday-Sunday, April 27-30, to decide the league’s singles and doubles champions. The 32-player men’s singles draw will consist of four student student-athletes from each school, and the 16-team doubles draw will consist of two doubles teams from each school. The Pac-10 features eleven ranked singles players and six ranked doubles pairs.
Ojai History: The Ojai, as it is known in tennis circles, is the oldest amateur tennis tournament in the United States and has been interrupted only five times since its inception- in 1924 by hoof and mouth disease and four years during World War II. Pac-10 schools have competed in intercollegiate events in 92 of the Ojai 102 tournaments, beginning in 1911. Championship medals are awarded both in singles and doubles and the winner’s names are inscribed on permanent trophies displayed each year at the tournament. Last year’s singles winner was Stanford’s Sam Warburg, while Warburg and partner KC Corkery won the doubles title.
Last Time Out: The Wildcats ended their three-match losing streak with a 5-2 win over Arizona State last Saturday. Arizona won two of three doubles matches to take the first point of the day. The Wildcats won the match with victories from Roger Matalonga, Claudio Christen, Bruno Alcala and Peter Zimmer in singles.
Saluted Seniors: Roger Matalonga has been honored as Pac-10 Player of the Week twice this year (Jan. 30-Feb. 5, March 20-28). Jeff Groslimond has received the honor once (Feb. 13-20).
Match Point Matalonga: In Arizona’s match against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 2, Roger Matalonga was able to fight off 11 match points to earn his victory over Nick Brotman. The win also gave the Wildcats a 4-3 victory over the Gauchos.
Fall Finishers: Redshirt freshman Peter Zimmer led the Wildcats with a 10-4 record in the fall, including a win streak of six matches. Roger Matalonga and Claudio Christen also had solid showings in the fall season, going 9-4 and 8-3, respectively. Three pairs posted winning records for Arizona in the fall. Daniel Andrus was a part of two of those pairs that included Matalonga and Francois VanderMerwe. Christen and Zimmer made up the third pair.
Wildcats in the Rankings: Roger Matalonga fell to No. 52 this week in the rankings. Jeff Groslimond and partner Claudio Christen dropped one spot to No. 46. As a team Arizona moved up two spots to No. 43.
Stacked Pac: The Pac-10 is difficult again this year with four teams currently ranked in the Top 25: No. 9 UCLA, No. 14 Stanford, No. 20 Washington and No. 23 California. UCLA, the defending national champion, features first-ranked singles player Benjamin Kohlloeffel. Kohlloeffel, along with Phillip Gruendler, are the second-ranked doubles pair. California’s Conor Niland is the fourth-ranked singles player. Stanford also has two singles players ranked in the Top 25.
Home Court Advantage: Arizona’s schedule this season included 15 home matches. All but two of its non-conference matches were played in Tucson. Seven of those matches were against teams that finished in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings last season. The Wildcats took advantage of their home schedule posting a 10-4 record in Tucson. Arizona was 2-5 away from home.
Next Match: Arizona will wait to hear if they have been selected for the 2006 NCAA tournament. The 2006 NCAA Division I men’s selection announcements will take place on Wednesday, May 3 on ESPNEWS. The announcement will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.