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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Arizona to face college tennis’ best

    The upcoming days will present many challenges for the Arizona men’s tennis team as they travel to Tulsa, Okla., to compete in the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championship, a fall tournament that UA head coach Tad Berkowitz describes as “”one of the college tennis grand slams.””

    One of those challenges will include having to play against the best college tennis players in the country in the event starting today and running through Oct. 8. The tournament will crown the first national singles and doubles champions of the year.

    “”When it comes to our fall tournaments, the All-American and the Regional Championships are our two biggest events of the year,”” Berkowitz said.

    Juniors Bruno Alcala and Claudio Christen and sophomore Peter Zimmer will compete for Arizona in a field that includes Georgia junior and defending champion John Isner, who enters the event as the No. 1 seed and owns the No. 2 overall ranking nationally, and the nation’s No. 3 player Luigi D-Agord, a Miami (Fla.) senior.

    In the doubles draw, Christen and Zimmer will play together for the first time as a pair at the tournament.

    Zimmer, who played doubles with Alcala last season, feels confident about playing with Christen.

    “”I think we complement each other pretty well,”” he said.

    Berkowitz is also interested to see what the two men can do as a pair, expressing that even though he’s undecided if they will be playing together in the spring, it is still an important aspect of play to observe.

    “”I’m curious to see how they stand,”” he said.

    The fall season, a season composed only of tournaments, creates different opportunities for the individual players on the team, making it even more important for the men to get in as much playing time as possible.

    “”I want them to just have a chance to play as long as they can play,”” Berkowitz said. “”If they can get in four or five matches that would be success for us.””

    Alcala, who will play at the All-American for the first time in his college career, also said that he needs to get as much experience as he can during the fall season.

    “”For us, tennis is a really long season, so as many matches as I can play will be the best for me,”” he said.

    Another important aspect of the fall season is the chance for the players to compete for a national ranking.

    “”Individually, these guys all want to do as well as they can to probably get a nice national ranking for them,”” Berkowitz said. “”For me, that’s not their first priority.

    “”I just want them to get good solid experience and just see where we stand nationally as far as how these guys have improved since last year.””

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