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The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona men’s tennis take down Stanford, wins Pac-12 Championship

Arizona+tennis+players+celebrate+in+a+circle+after+defeating+Arizona+State+4-2+at+Robson+Tennis+Center+on+April+7.+The+hard-fought+victory+came+down+to+a+singles+match+between+Gustaf+Strom+and+Max+McKennon.
Jay Corella
Arizona tennis players celebrate in a circle after defeating Arizona State 4-2 at Robson Tennis Center on April 7. The hard-fought victory came down to a singles match between Gustaf Strom and Max McKennon.

History was made for the No. 2 seed Arizona men’s tennis team as it took down No. 1 seed Stanford University on Saturday, April 27, securing its first Pac-12 Title in program history. Arizona battled against the top-seeded Cardinal in singles and doubles, having to earn every score across every court, but ultimately Arizona outlasted Stanford on both fronts and secured the 4-0 victory, rounding out the final Pac-12 Tournament match.

Arizona (24-3) extends its win streak to seven straight games and looks to continue this hot streak as it prepares for NCAA Tournament play. Stanford’s season fell short of the ultimate goal of securing the conference tournament championship. However, the Cardinal still had an incredibly impressive season in their own right, finishing the regular season 17-6 and 7-1 in their conference games. They also finished as co-regular season conference champions with Arizona, earning them the top seed in this tournament.

No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 1 Stanford – Saturday, April 27, 5 p.m. 

In a winner-takes-all match with everything on the line, the top two seeds in the Pac-12 understood the gravity of this match, and their performance reflected that until the very last match. Tensions ran high for both teams at Libbey Park Saturday night, but ultimately, the Wildcats came through with clutch moments in tight spots and outplayed the Cardinal enough to secure the win on the day.

The day began with doubles matches, and Arizona found itself with the early advantage. The Wildcats managed to secure the doubles point after a series of intense matchups. The tandem of No. 31 Colton Smith and Jay Friend came through with a hard-fought performance on court one against Stanford’s No. 49 Max Basing and Nico Godsick to secure the first victory for the Wildcats, winning 7-6 (10-8). Despite a strong start from Stanford’s Samir Banerjee and Nishesh Basavareddy, who secured a 6-2 victory on court two against Herman Hoeyeraal and Eric Padgham, the Wildcats swiftly countered with a victory on court three, where Sasha Rozin and Gustaf Strom emerged victorious over Aryan Chaudhary and Harsh Hemang Parikh, winning 6-3 and sealing the doubles point for Arizona.

As the matches shifted to singles play, the Wildcats continued their momentum, clinching victories on multiple courts to extend their lead. No. 34 Friend showcased exceptional resilience in his match against Banerjee, bouncing back after dropping the second set to secure a decisive 6-2, 0-6, 6-1 victory on court two. Meanwhile, No. 71 Strom further bolstered Arizona’s lead with a commanding 6-2, 6-3 straight-sets win over Basing on court three. Then, Nick Lagaev delivered a gritty performance on court six, overcoming Godsick 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to seal the singles point and the Pac-12 Title in favor of the Wildcats.

Looking ahead: 

The Wildcats now await the NCAA tournament selection show set for Monday, April 29 at 3 p.m. to see who their opening round opponent will be.


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