Cal Men Set to Do Battle With Cardinal in Big Slam

Feb. 17, 2010

BERKELEY - The California men's tennis team looks to come out of a two-week layoff and pick up its play amidst a two-match winning streak as the Golden Bears head across the Bay to face rival Stanford in the first of two Big Slam matches. Cal rebounded from its first loss of the season to earn two victories against Western Athletic Conference visitors Fresno State and Hawaii at home. The Bears will bring three ranked players into this weekend's match including juniors No. 33-ranked Jonathan Dahan and No. 98 Bozhidar Katsarov. Freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt is ranked No. 106 and leads Cal in singles victories with 22 this season.

THIS WEEK: The No. 28-ranked California men's tennis team (6-1) will face rival No. 9 Stanford (6-1) in the first of two Big Slam matches. The Golden Bears and the Cardinals will meet at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium in Stanford, Calif. for a 1 p.m. PT match on Saturday, Feb. 20. As the first of two scheduled meetings this spring, the outcome will not count towards Pac-10 standings. Stanford has prevailed in the last four meetings since Cal swept both matches in 2007. The Cardinal leads the all-time series, 122-72-2.

ON COURT - NO. 9 STANFORD: The Cardinal (6-1) suffered its only loss to the same eighth-ranked Texas squad that delivered Cal's only loss. Since falling to the Longhorns at the ITA Indoor Championships, Stanford has responded to win back-to-back matches over ranked opponents; No. 30 Fresno State (4-0) and No. 10 Kentucky (4-2). Despite suffering his first loss in a dual match this year, No. 54-ranked sophomore Bradley Klahn leads the Cardinal with an 18-3 singles record. Junior Greg Hirshman is next in line with a 12-4 mark and remains undefeated in dual singles at 6-0. Junior Alex Clayton is ranked No. 37 and boasts an 11-4 singles record. Stanford's top doubles team of the nation's No. 1-ranked duo of Klahn and sophomore Ryan Thacher leads the team with a 17-3 record. Stanford leads the all-time series against Cal, 122-72-2, and has emerged victorious in the last four meetings. Prior to that, Cal swept the series in 2007.

BEAR TRACKER: Follow the Bears during their match against Stanford by clicking to this link: Live video and scoring from each court will be available at the beginning of the match. All of Cal's home matches at the Hellman Tennis Complex will feature live video with scoring. Visit the men's tennis home page at for links.

LAST TIME OUT: The Bears bounced back from their first loss of the season to take two wins over ranked opponents in No. 46 Fresno State and No. 40 Hawaii. Cal won the doubles point for the fifth and sixth times this season and maintained a perfect 6-0 record through matches in which it has won the doubles point. After splitting sets against Tejesvi Veerepalli of Fresno State on the third singles court, junior Jonathan Dahan battled back to win, 6-2, in the third set to clinch a 4-3 team victory for the Bears. Cal carried the momentum from that win and turned it into a dominating 6-1 win against Hawaii. Freshman Riki McLachlan earned his sixth consecutive singles victory and maintained a perfect 5-0 mark in duals as he defeated Philipp Eberhard on court five to seal Cal's win over the Rainbow Warriors.

KONIGSFELDT NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt was selected Pac-10 Men's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 1-7. The native of Denmark led the Golden Bears to a pair of victories over ranked opponents; then-No. 46 Fresno State and No. 40 Hawaii. In Cal's 4-3 win over the Bulldogs, he defeated FSU's Rikus de Villiers, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, at court two. Against Hawaii, he bounced back to win, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, after dropping the first set to Andreas Weber. In doubles matches, Konigsfeldt teamed with sophomore Nick Andrews to go 2-0 at the No. 2 doubles position. The duo upset Fresno State's 20th-ranked team of Taylor Leiby and Mirko Zapletal, 7-6 (4), and defeated Hawaii's Leo Rosenberg and Jeremy Tweedt, 8-4. The first career weekly honor for Konigsfeldt was the seventh all-time Pac-10 Player of the Week selection for the Cal men. Junior Pedro Zerbini garnered the award twice in 2009.

BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears are ranked No. 28 as a team in the most recent (Feb. 12) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. Cal has three ranked singles players led by No. 33-ranked junior Jonathan Dahan. Junior Bozhidar Katsarov checks in at No. 98 next with freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt holding the No. 106 spot. In doubles, sophomore Nick Andrews and Konigsfeldt are ranked No. 49 and have played the entire dual season at court two. Andrews and fellow sophomore Sky Lovill are ranked No. 39 together.

POWER OF THE PAC: Six of the seven Pac-10 men's tennis teams hold rankings; all within the top 30 of the most recent (Feb. 12) Campbell's/ITA College Tennis Poll--making it one of the toughest conferences in men's collegiate tennis. Defending NCAA Champion USC holds the top ranking in the nation with defending conference champion UCLA in tow at No. 3. Stanford stands at No. 9 with Arizona checking in at No. 23. Washington is hot on the trail with the No. 24 ranking. Cal is No. 28 with just Oregon without a ranking. In 2009, in addition to producing the national champion, the Pac-10 produced five ITA All-America selections and was home to the National Rookie of the Year in Stanford's Bradley Klahn.

WHERE'S THE BEEF: Junior Pedro Zerbini is a carnivore in every sense of the word. As somewhat of a contrarian to his surroundings, Zerbini prefers the taste of meat over that of vegetables. In fact, he chooses not to eat vegetables as a regular part of his diet. While Berkeley is widely known to provide many vegetarian and vegan dining options to the dense population of herbivores in the city limits, Zerbini may be the only meat-only eater on campus.

BROTHERLY LOVE: Freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt is the younger brother of the top singles player at UC Santa Barbara, Alex Konigsfeldt. A 6-1 junior for the Gauchos, the elder Konigsfeldt advanced to the round of 32 at the 2008 ITA Regional Championships and was once ranked fifth nationally in Denmark's under-18 rankings. He won the 2007 Danish Junior Championship and reached the National Outdoor Championships semifinals in 2006.

FALL 2009 REVIEW: The Bears concluded the 2009 fall individual tournament season with several notable achievements. Cal had four singles players and four doubles teams advance to at least the round of 16 in the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship. In singles, sophomore Nick Andrews made his way to the round of 16 where he was joined by freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt, and juniors Bozhidar Katsarov and Pedro Zerbini. Konigsfeldt moved one round further before bowing out but Katsarov and Zerbini each advanced to the semifinal round, with Zerbini moving on to the championship match. While he was knocked out in the opening round, sophomore Sky Lovill turned things around and won the singles back draw with five consecutive victories. Andrews and Konigsfeldt; junior Jonathan Dahan and Zerbini; junior Zach Gilbert and Lovill; and the team of Katsarov and freshman Riki McLachalan all advanced to the doubles round of 16 with Andrews and Konigsfeldt moving ahead to the semifinal. Konigsfeldt claimed the singles championship at the Saint Mary's Invitational and went all the way to the doubles final with Zerbini. On the other side was Andrews and Lovill, but the two pairs never played the match. Andrews alone had a shot at the singles title, but fell to Konigsfeldt, and Katsarov also made it to the singles semifinal. Dahan and Zerbini showed strongly at the D'Novo/ITA All-American Championships as the duo moved into the round of 16 after getting three wins in the qualifying rounds.

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