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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 7 Arizona men’s tennis defeats No. 59 California but suffers first conference loss to No. 33 Stanford

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Jackie Cabrera

Arizona men’s tennis players high five after a point against New Mexico State on Feb. 6 at Lanelle Robson tennis center. Arizona lost this set 7 games to 5.

The No. 7 Arizona men’s tennis team returned to Tucson to continue its conference play on Friday, March 29 at 2 p.m., and on Saturday, March 30 at 2:30 p.m., facing off against No. 59 University of California, Berkeley, and No. 33 Stanford University. The Wildcats entered these matches riding a 10-game winning streak, including a sweep during their opening conference play weekend.

Arizona (17-3, 3-1 in Pac-12) handled business against Cal (7-7, 2-1 in Pac-12) on Friday afternoon and secured a 4-1 victory to start their week of matches with a dominant performance over the Golden Bears. However, the Wildcats faced a formidable challenge against Stanford (12-4, 4-0 in Pac-12), played in a drawn-out contest that ultimately ended in the Cardinal’s favor with a 4-3 victory. This marked the Wildcats’ first Pac-12 defeat of the season and their first loss since February.

Day 1: No. 7 Arizona vs. No. 59 California – Friday, March 29, 2 p.m. 

In Arizona’s first match, it faced off against California and held off the Golden Bears in multiple instances throughout the day to earn a 4-1 victory and remain flawless in conference play.

Starting with doubles, the Wildcats displayed an impressive performance on courts two and three, setting the tone for the match. Herman Hoeyeraal and Eric Padgham continued to showcase their exceptional teamwork on court two, securing a decisive 6-3 victory over Lucas Magnaudet and Timofey Stepanov. On court one, an intense back-and-forth battle unfolded as No. 24 Colton Smith and Jay Friend faced off against No. 12 Alex Chang and Mikey Wright. Despite a slow start, Smith and Friend rallied back and ultimately clinched a hard-fought 7-5 victory, securing the doubles point for the Wildcats.

Then, in singles play, the Wildcats maintained their momentum. Despite Cal notching a straight-set win on court two, Arizona responded with a series of impressive victories. Casper Christensen led the Wildcats to their first singles win of the day with a straight-set victory over Jonathan Irwanto. Following suit, No. 97 Hoeyeraal continued his masterful play, keeping his winning streak alive with a clutch 7-5, 6-3 win over Qian Sun on court four. With the team score tied, the remaining singles courts saw matches extending into third sets, but Nick Lagaev clinched the team win for Arizona with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Magnaudet, sealing the win over Cal as the Wildcats now shifted their focus to Stanford.

Day 2: No. 7 Arizona vs. No. 33 Stanford – Saturday, March 30, 2:30 p.m. 

Heading into its second match of the week against Stanford, who came into the game with a five-game winning streak. Despite the Wildcats’ best efforts, they came up short against the Cardinal, falling 4-3.

In the doubles play, Arizona appeared to be outclassed as Stanford’s players emerged victorious in two of the three completed matches. The duo of Samir Banerjee and Nishesh Basavareddy secured a decisive 6-1 win over Arizona’s No. 24 Smith and Friend on court one. Additionally, Kyle Kang and Neel Rajesh defeated Sasha Rozin and Gustaf Strom 6-2. Meanwhile, Hoeyeraal and Padgham once again served as the Wildcats’ bright spot and claimed a 6-4 victory on court two against Aryan Chaudhary and Harsh Hemang Parikh.

Transitioning to singles play, the Wildcats, despite not performing at their usual high level, remained determined and managed to win three of the six singles matches. Notably, Friend battled through a grueling three-set match against Stanford’s No. 51 Banerjee and emerged victorious with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win. Additionally, Strom showcased his endurance and skill and secured a thrilling three-set victory over Max Basing with scores of 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Despite these impressive individual performances, Stanford’s depth and overall talent ultimately proved too much for Arizona as the Cardinal managed to secure the majority of the singles matches to clinch the overall victory.

Looking ahead: 

Arizona only has one match this next week and will be remaining in Tucson to face No. 17 ASU on Sunday, April 7 at 1 p.m.


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