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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Two Wildcats make semifinals in N.M.

    The Arizona men’s tennis team had an encouraging weekend at the Balloon Fiesta Classic in Albuquerque, N.M., as two Wildcat individuals and a doubles team advanced to the semifinals in their events.

    Junior Mitchell Brown, sophomore Peter Zimmer and freshman Alex Labrosse represented Arizona at the tournament, with both Brown and Zimmer making it to the penultimate round of the singles event.

    UA head coach Tad Berkowitz said he was happy to see the hard work Zimmer has put into practice pay off in the Classic.

    The sophomore entered having won three matches in the pre-qualifying round at the All-American Championship last week.

    “”The past two weeks he’s really taken a couple of big steps forward,”” Berkowitz said.

    Zimmer came out strong against San Diego State’s Achim Ceban in the semifinals on Saturday, as he took the first set 6-3. Ceban fought back and won the final two sets 6-2, 6-3, to eliminate Zimmer.

    With the No. 2 seed in the Flight A singles draw, Zimmer earned a first-round bye on Friday and won his next two matches against Eric Kinsey of Northern Colorado, 6-1, 6-0, and Miles Bugby of New Mexico, 7-6, 6-2.

    Brown also saw success while competing in the Flight B singles event, reaching the semifinals before losing in straight sets to Kyle Barrett of Northern Colorado, 6-2, 6-0.

    Brown earned back-to-back wins on Friday against New Mexico’s Jordan Wasden, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, and Air Force’s Kyle Epperson, 6-4, 6-1.

    In his first collegiate tournament appearance Friday, Labrosse won his opening match against Air Force’s Austin Francis, 6-2, 6-4, but he did not fare as well against Graeme Kassautzki, the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

    Although Labrosse lost in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, Berkowitz said he was pleased with the freshman’s performance, emphasizing his future value to the team.

    “”He’s a great competitor,”” Berkowitz said. “”He’s a feisty guy, and I think he will only get better as he gets more and more experience.””

    Labrosse saw more action when he paired with Zimmer for the doubles event, sharing the No. 1 seed in the draw.

    The pair strung together two wins before falling in the semifinals to Air Force’s Keith Cronican and James Tomlin, 9-8.

    It was the first time the pair had played together, and Berkowitz said the two men worked well despite having different playing styles.

    “”Peter did a good job showing some leadership in helping out Alex,”” he said. “”The chemistry was good because both the guys are strong competitors.””

    Brown also competed in the doubles event with New Mexico’s Wasden to get some extra experience.

    The duo won their first match against Air Force’s Mike Gies and Ryan White, 9-7, before losing to New Mexico State’s Stepjan Beg and Ricardo Gorostiaga, 8-1.

    Berkowitz said watching the event helped him evaluate what the squad needs to improve on, starting with next weekend’s Midland Collegiate Championships.

    “”What we need to get better at is just playing all together through an entire tennis match,”” he said.

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