No. 7 Stanford Knocks Off No. 23 California Men's Tennis, 5-2

Feb. 21, 2009

BERKELEY -

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The No. 23-ranked California men's tennis team (3-3) fell, 5-2, to rival Stanford (7-1) in the Big Slam today at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The Golden Bears have now lost their last three meetings with the Cardinal and have won just one of their last three matches this season.

Cal looked strong at the outset, winning the doubles point with victories on court three and court one. On the third court, sophomore Bozhidar Katsarov and junior Kallim Stewart squandered away a 7-5 lead when Stewart double-faulted on serve but the Bears came back to break the Stanford serve to get an 8-6 win over Bradley Klahn and Ted Kelly. The Cardinal knotted things up when Matt Bruch and Ryan Thacher got an 8-6 win of their own over sophomore Jonathan Dahan and senior Eoin Heavey on court two.

On the top court, Cal's No. 24-ranked duo of senior Geoff Chizever and sophomore Pedro Zerbini stared defeat in the face when Chizever double-faulted to give Stanford match point but rallied back to tie things up at seven-all against No. 28-ranked Blake Muller and Richard Wire. The Bears broke Muller's serve in the next game to go up 8-7 before Zerbini's serves blasted Stanford out of the match, giving the Bears a 40-love lead. The last rally went in Cal's favor to give the Bears a 1-0 match lead heading into singles play.

Stanford wasted no time tying the match at one point apiece as Thacher took out Dahan on court three, 6-2, 6-3. Next, a win on court six by Katsarov put the Bears back up on top, 2-1, as the Bulgarian native defeated Muller 6-3, 6-2. The Cardinal answered back shortly thereafter with a win on the second court as No. 47 Klahn beat No. 88 Stewart, 6-3, 6-4.

With the match knotted up at two-all, Stanford continued to press to take the lead as Heavey fell on court four to Bruch in three sets, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2. Heavey forced the second-set tiebreaker and was on par with Bruch at five-all, but could not hold on, falling 7-5 in the breaker. On court five, freshman Nick Andrews fought back to force a third set against No. 117 Wire as the two split sets, 6-4, 4-6. Up 5-4 in the third set, Andrews gave up the final three games of the set to seal the match for the Cardinal as he fell 7-5.

With the match in hand, Stanford added one more point as No. 13-ranked Alex Clayton took out Zerbini on the top court in three sets, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. Zerbini held strong in the first set to emerge with a 7-5 tiebreaker win but came out and surrendered a 5-1 lead to Clayton in the second. Even though he fought back, it was not enough as Clayton walked away with straight 6-4, 6-2 sets to finish things off.

The Bears remain in Berkeley to host No. 15 Pepperdine (7-5) tomorrow at noon at the Hellman Tennis Complex.

No. 7 Stanford 5, No. 23 California 2Hellman Tennis Complex | Berkeley, Calif.Saturday, February 21, 2009Doubles1. No. 24 Chizever/Zerbini (CAL) def. No. 28 Muller/Wire (STAN) 9-72. Bruch/Thacher (STAN) def. Dahan/Heavey (CAL) 8-63. Katsarov/Stewart (CAL) def. Kelly/Klahn (STAN) 8-6Order of finish: 3, 2, 1* (California wins doubles point)Singles1. No. 13 Alex Clayton (STAN) def. Pedro Zerbini (CAL) 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-22. No. 27 Bradley Klahn (STAN) def. No. 88 Kallin Stewart (CAL) 6-3, 6-43. Ryan Thacher (STAN) def. Jonathan Dahan (CAL) 6-2, 6-34. Matt Bruch (STAN) def. Eoin Heavey (CAL) 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-25. No. 117 Richard Wire (STAN) def. Nick Andrews (CAL) 6-4, 4-6, 7-56. Bozhidar Katsarov (CAL) def. Blake Muller (STAN) 6-3, 6-2Order of finish: 3, 6, 2, 4, 5*, 1

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