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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Alcala leads Cats, falls in 3rd round of men’s tennis opener”

    Members of the Arizona men’s tennis team spent the weekend in Costa Mesa, Calif., competing against the top collegiate players in the nation and some of the best players in the world in the Costa Mesa Futures tournament, with junior Bruno Alcala leading the UA pack by advancing to the qualifying draw’s third round.

    Fellow juniors Claudio Christen and Francois VanderMerwe also represented Arizona at the event, but Alcala had the most encouraging performance, despite losing yesterday to No. 6-seeded Nima Roshan, an ATP professional.

    Climbing to the third round, Alcala grabbed the momentum against Roshan after taking the first set of the match, 6-4. He had chances to make breaks in the second set, but it was not enough, as Roshan won the second set, 6-3, and steamrolled through the third, 6-0.

    Heading into yesterday’s match, Alcala had plenty of momentum from his previous matches.

    On Saturday, Alcala won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, over Torrey Pines (Calif.) High School’s Steve Forman, one of the nation’s top juniors.

    Before that, Alcala earned a straight-set victory again, 6-4, 6-1, this time over UC-Irvine sophomore Shimpei Suzuki in Friday’s qualifying round.

    UA head coach Tad Berkowitz was encouraged by Alcala’a performance, especially since he was in the middle of the lineup last year, saying the junior is “”on the right track”” to be one of the team’s top players this year.

    With another confident set of outings, Christen made it past the qualifying round on Friday, winning in straight sets against UC Santa Barbara freshman Josh Finkelstein, 6-4, 6-1. He continued this momentum into Saturday, winning his first set against Roshan, 6-3, but Roshan took the last two sets, 6-3, 6-4.

    VanderMerwe had the toughest weekend as the only Wildcat not to make it out of the qualifying round. Even though he won the first set against ATP professional Scott Crichlow, 6-3, he ended up falling in the last two sets, 1-6, 3-6.

    Although the men saw many highs and lows throughout the tournament, Berkowitz said he is confident going into future tournaments as he continues to work his squad in practice.

    “”One main goal for us this year is to be in great shape,”” he said. “”We’re going to be a well-conditioned team this year.””

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