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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Men’s tennis delivers two victories

    Arizona men’s tennis takes no team for granted. Perhaps it’s this quality about the team that enabled them to approach No. 34 South Florida and No. 55 St. Mary’s with the same degree of alacrity.

    The Wildcats (5-1) took care of both teams, South Florida 5-2 and St. Mary’s 4-0. Arizona was No. 45 in the rankings entering the weekend, but after a strong performance this weekend it will no doubt have moved a few notches higher in Tuesday’s rankings.

    “”I knew it was going to be a battle,”” said head coach Tad Berkowitz of his team’s win against South Florida. “”It was a tight match – could have gone either way there for a long time. I had a feeling, had confidence in our guys, that if we played what we’re capable of playing we’d come away with the win.””

    Junior Ravid Hazi played in the No. 3 position on Friday, defeating South Florida’s Romain Deridder 6-3, 6-4. He and Andres Arango defeated Deridder and Wael Kilani 8-4 in their doubles match.

    “”I think they matched up with us better than St. Mary’s. Both matches we fought really hard and mentally, we are tough,”” Hazi said. “”Even today, it was difficult conditions. … We fought through, fought hard.””

    Hazi was referring to Sunday’s rainstorm which delayed and shortened the team’s St. Mary’s match and ultimately canceled the women’s contest against ASU.

    “”We were supposed to start at 9:30 but were delayed a couple hours,”” said Berkowitz. “”We didn’t want to interfere with the women’s match. We tried to take care of business … once the match was clinched, we just tried to get out of the way.””

    “”We’re killing teams that a couple years ago we lost to,”” said Hazi. “”Two years ago, we lost to St. Mary’s. Nice to see.””

    Another interesting note, accompanied by no small amount of additional pressure, is freshman Jason Zafiros, who has yet to drop a singles match all season long.

    “”He likes the challenge,”” Berkowitz said. “”He likes to be in the situation where he has to step up for the team. He puts pressure on himself, but I think he’s the type of guy who thrives off of pressure situations.””

    The team is bolstered by a strong dynamic.

    “”We’ve built a nice little foundation for ourselves early on,”” said Berkowitz. “”We had a much more challenging schedule early on in the year than in the past. It’s really worked out well for us, gives us confidence. We definitely have some tough matches coming up in the next few weeks. Guys are confident, and I think we’ll do well.””

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