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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Naoki Takeda wins Jack Kramer Club Classic


Courtesy of Arizona Athletics

Arizona men’s tennis player Naoki Takeda hits on his way to a win at the Jack Kramer Club Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif. Saturday, Nov. 14.

The Arizona men’s tennis program had a weekend to remember after senior Naoki Takeda took home the hardware in the singles tournament at the Jack Kramer Club Classic in Los Angeles, California.

Takeda finished with a 5-0 record for the tournament, defeating USC’s Thibault Forget 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to capture the singles title.

Takeda went undefeated in both singles and doubles play on the first day of the tournament as he and sophomore Shoki Kasahara defeated Axel Damiens and Joshua Ortilio of California Polytechnic State University 8-3. Takeda beat the University of Washington’s Joao Barra by a score of 6-2, 7-6 (5). Kasahara fell in the first round of singles play to Loyola Marymount University’s Errol Smith.

Day two displayed a commanding performance from Takeda and Kasahara as they both won every doubles and singles match they participated in. The doubles tandem won their lone match of the day against Barra and Kawika Lam of UW by a score of 8-7 (4).

Takeda defeated Jake DeVine of USC to advance to the quarterfinals, where he then defeated University of California, Santa Barbara’s Nicolas Moreno de Alboran. Kasahara won in the consolation round against Lucas Lesoeur of Cal Poly.

The Wildcats found success in singles play on day three, but fell in the doubles quarterfinals. Takeda and Kasahara lost to Southern Methodist University’s Samm Butler and Nathaniel Lammons 8-6.

However, both players were able to pick up wins in singles play. Takeda defeated Maciek Romanowicz of Stanford 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the singles final. Kasahara was able to come out victorious against Pepperdine’s Tom Hill 6-3, 6-3 in the consolation round.

On the final day, Takeda defeated Forget in a hard-fought battle that went to three sets (6-3, 4-6, 6-4). The No. 37 ranked Takeda finished with an 8-2 record in the fall and will certainly move up in the new individual rankings when they are released in January. Takeda was determined to win the entire tournament after losing in the semis a year ago.

Kasahara forced a third set in the consolation round but ultimately fell to UW’s Kawika Lam by a score of 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.

“A huge congrats to Naoki for winning this tournament,” said assistant coach Arron Spencer. “He lost in the semis last year and has had his sights set on coming back to take the title this year. It is great to see all of his hard work pay off. Overall, it was a good weekend. A lot of things that we have worked on throughout the fall were put into play. I am excited to get back to Tucson and start preparing for the spring season.”

The Wildcats had a productive fall and will look forward to the season opener against New Mexico on Jan. 15. Pac-12 Conference play begins Mar. 25 against Stanford.

Follow Ross Olson on Twitter.

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