TUCSON, Ariz. – Fredrik Ask decisively won his singles match in straight sets on Sunday, leading the Cats to a 7-0 victory over the Idaho Vandals.
The senior defeated Odon Barta 6-2, 6-2 to give Arizona its first singles victory of the day.
Despite the dominating performance by Ask, the only other Wildcat to finish without too much adversity was sophomore Naoki Takeda, who defeated Artemiy Nikitin 6-2, 6-4.
“Idaho turned it around well in the singles,” said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “Our guys did a good job of overcoming the adversity of being up and down vs. a team trying to gain momentum.”
No other player had to overcome more adversity early than senior Kieren Thompson. Down 4-1 in the first set, Thompson stormed back to force a tiebreaker, of which he won 9-7 to take the set 6-5(7). His momentum carried him through the second set, of which he won 6-4 to seal the victory.
Arizona’s fortitude continued to be tested on courts three thru six, as Mario Urquidi, Will Kneale and Matt Dunn each had to come back from early one-set deficits to beat their opponents in three.
“A tennis match is a marathon,” Berkowitz said. “You don’t win a match with one game, or two games. You win a match with six games. Then you have to do it all over again. You can’t get too down or too high on yourself.”
Urquidi fell behind early to Cristobal Ramos-Salazar 4-6, but pulled even with a 6-4 victory in the second. In a tiebreaker third, Urquidi persevered in a 6-5 (5) win to take the match.
Dunn, who made his 2014 season singles debut, had anything but an easy opener against Andrew Zedde. Dunn fell behind early 3-6, but rebounded nicely for the Cats to win the next two and the match, 6-4, 6-2.
Kneale defeated Idaho’s Cesar Torres 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to complete the sweep.
In doubles, Arizona needed little time to clinch the point as Matt Dunn and Mario Urquidi defeated Barta and Nikitin 6-2. Naoki Takeda and Will Kneale clinched shortly after with a 6-1 win over Torres and Zedde.
Arizona returns to the courts on Sunday, Feb. 16 to take on Nevada at 10 a.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.