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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Men’s tennis upset after weather delay

    Before yesterday’s men’s tennis match against St. Mary’s, UA assistant coach Tom Lloyd said the Gaels were going to be better than the Wildcats anticipated.

    It turned out he was right.

    After the match was postponed for 3 1/2 hours due to court conditions, No. 48 Arizona (1-1) dropped four out of five matches in its loss. Because of the delay and the flight plans of St. Mary’s (2-0), there was no time to play the doubles matches, and the No. 3 singles contest between UA sophomore Peter Zimmer and St. Mary’s Achim Christner was forced to end early with Zimmer ahead 1-0 in the third set.

    The Wildcats appeared tight early, as three of the players lost their opening sets.

    “”We came out a little tentative,”” Zimmer said, “”and they were playing with nothing to lose.””

    After a slow start, four of the Wildcats forced a third set but none could translate the momentum into a win.

    “”I think with the delays and the cold weather, it just took us too long to get the ball rolling today,”” Zimmer said.

    Junior Bruno Alcala brought in the team’s lone point on the day, winning his match at the No. 4 spot 7-5, 6-1 over Andrea Zannoni.

    The most exciting match of the day ended up not counting due to St. Mary’s flight plans. Zimmer’s match at the No. 3 position was a back-and-forth battle that featured two dramatic tiebreakers that closed out the first and second sets.

    In the first-set tiebreaker, both players exchanged match points until Zimmer double-faulted at 8-8 to give Christner the advantage. Christner won the next point and took the tiebreaker 10-8.

    After a hard-fought second set, Zimmer found himself in a tiebreaker again, but this time down 5-1. Zimmer then won six straight points and won the tiebreaker 7-5 to even the match at a set apiece.

    While Zimmer and Christner were beginning their third set, over on court six redshirt freshman Alex Labrosse lost the third set of his No. 6 singles match to seal the win for St. Mary’s. Due to this, the officials called for the ending of Zimmer’s match and officially declared it no match despite Zimmer holding the advantage.

    “”It was a huge relief physically,”” Zimmer said of the ending to his match, “”but especially being up early in the third set, you want, for personal pride, to win.””

    Looking at the day as a whole and all of the three-set losses, the Wildcats’ inexperience was evident.

    UA head coach Tad Berkowitz said he was glad his team was exposed to the less-than-ideal weather conditions.

    “”The weather today and the conditions are great for a young team,”” Berkowitz said. “”It just toughens them up, and that’s what we need. I think its good for us to play in every type of condition possible.””

    Berkowitz also said his team, which does not play again until February, can look at this match as a learning experience.

    “”We’re extremely young,”” Berkowitz said. “”As long as we keep learning, and if we learn from this, we’ll be OK.””

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