Men's Tennis Competes at All-American Championships
Oct. 2, 2006
HEADING TO TULSA: The California men's tennis team continues the 2006 fall season at the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis Championships from Oct. 2-8 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. The event will feature the nation's top players and doubles teams. This week's tournament also offers the first of three national singles and doubles titles of the 2006-07 season, with the other two being the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November and the NCAA Championships in May.
A LOOK AT THE TOURNAMENT: The tournament is sponsored by Polo Ralph Lauren for the second straight year. This is also the second straight year that the event will be held in Tulsa. The format includes: five days of qualifying events that precede the main draw; a 128-player pre-qualifying tournament, which occurred this past weekend; a 128-player and 64-doubles team qualifying tournament that runs from Oct. 2-5, which then feeds into the 64-player, 32-doubles team main draws.
REVIEWING THE NAPA VALLEY CLASSIC: Juniors Ken Nakahara and Pierre Mouillon, along with freshmen Kallim Stewart and Geoff Chizever each racked up multiple victories over the weekend. Nakahara, Mouillon and Stewart earned two wins in singles, while Chizever tallied his two wins in doubles with partners, sophomore Nicolai Horgen and senior John Pettit. Pettit was the other Bear to win multiple matches, as he earned one victory in singles and one in doubles. Mouillon and Nakahara each earned one of their singles victories in a comeback effort. Nakahara lost the first set of his match to Illinois' Brandon Davis, 1-6. He came back to defeat Davis in the next two sets, 6-4 and 6-2. Mouillon also lost 1-6 in the first set of his match against Mississippi's Robbye Poole. He rebounded to win the next two sets, 7-5 and 6-0.
PAST WINNERS: Titles have come the Golden Bears' way in the All-American Championships in past years. Cal's Scott McCain won the singles title in 1979 with a victory over Princeton' Jay Lapidus (3-6; 3-6; 6-3; 6-3; 7-5). Steve DeVries was the next Bear to win it all, as he defeated Rick Leach of USC (6-3; 6-3). DeVries advanced to the finals the following year. Doug Eisenman and Matt Lucena won the doubles title in 1989.
A YEAR AGO: The Bears hope to get the 2006 edition of the tournament off to a better start than in 2005. Cal was unable to advance past the qualifying rounds one year ago. Senior Tyler Browne fared well in the qualifying rounds, winning his first two matches before getting knocked off. In doubles, Browne and his partner, senior Daniel Sebescen, won their first match in the qualifying event before losing in the second round. In addition, Sebescen earned a victory in the singles consolation bracket.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Cal will compete with some stiff competition at the championships. Thirty six of the top 40 players from the Fila national singles rankings will be competing in Tulsa. Last year's champion and the No. 1 seed in this year's tournament, John Isner of Georgia, will be participating. The three-time ITA All-American is looking to become the second player to win titles in consecutive years and first since Georgia's Al Parker in 1989-90. Virginia's Somdev Devvarman, the 2006 NCAA Singles runner-up, and the Tulsa's Arnau Brugues, the 2005 ITA Player to Watch are also in the field.
Head Coach Peter Wright: Considered one of the best teachers and tacticians in men's collegiate tennis, Peter Wright has developed a reputation for getting more out of his players than perhaps any coach in the country. Wright's coaching talent hasn't gone unnoticed. Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2001 and 1997, he received his first coaching award in 1994 when he was named Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year. Wright and the Bears have been a fixture in the NCAA Tournament almost every year since. The ninth coach in the 111-year history of Cal tennis, Wright has compiled a 176-126 (.583) career record during his tenure in Berkeley. Wright currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as well as the Youth Tennis Advantage and the Arthur Ashe Tennis Foundation of the Bay Area. He established the Bear Trax program at Cal, which brings inner city children from Oakland to Berkeley for academic tutoring with Cal students and tennis tutoring with the Cal men's and women's teams. This year, Wright and Cal will hold the inaugural Peter Wright tour, four tournaments during the fall at the Hellman Tennis Complex. Wright is also currently the chairman of the NCAA men's tennis committee. He is assisted by Morten Christensen, who enters his first season.