Stanford, Baylor Clash In Fourth Annual HP Cup On Tuesday
March 29, 2010
The First Serve
Stanford (11-3, 1-0 Pac-10) can extend its winning streak to a season-best five matches with a victory over Baylor (15-3, 0-0 Big 12) on Tuesday afternoon. The Cardinal is coming off an impressive stretch that featured three wins over a span of five days. Included in that span were hard-fought back-to-back victories over No. 11 Illinois and No. 28 Michigan during a Midwest road swing. Stanford is arguably playing its best tennis of the year.
About The HP Cup
Stanford and Baylor square off in the fourth annual HP Cup, a home-and-home series showcasing a battle of perennial nationally-ranked teams. The Cardinal is looking for its first win over the Bears, who own a 9-0 lead in the all-time series dating back to 1999. Hewlett Packard Company's CEO, Mark Hurd, was a letterwinner on the Baylor men's tennis team during the 1970's.
Stanford All-Time Against Baylor
Baylor holds a 9-0 advantage (3-0 at home, 4-0 on the road, 2-0 at a neutral site). Here is a historical breakdown of the all-time series:
1999: Baylor 4, Stanford 2 (at Athens, GA - May 22) - NCAA Tournament Round of 16
2003: Baylor 4, Stanford 0 (at Louisville, KY - Feb. 21)- National Team Indoor Champs.
2004: Baylor 5, Stanford 2 (at Stanford, CA - Mar. 22)
2005: Baylor 7, Stanford 0 (at Waco, TX - Mar. 23)
2006: Baylor 5, Stanford 1 (at Stanford, CA - Feb. 27)
2006: Baylor 4, Stanford 3 (at Stanford, CA - May 21) - NCAA Tournament Second Round
2007: Baylor 5, Stanford 2 (at Waco, TX - Feb. 11) - 1st Annual HP Cup
2008: Baylor 5, Stanford 2 (at Stanford, CA - Feb. 13) - 2nd Annual HP Cup
2009: Baylor 4, Stanford 3 (at Waco, TX - Mar. 24) - 3rd Annual HP Cup
Last Year's HP Cup Meeting
No. 10 Baylor squeaked out a 4-3 upset of No. 4 Stanford on Mar. 24 at the Baylor Tennis Center and kept the HP Cup in Waco for a third straight year. Baylor needed the last match on the court to finish off Stanford, as freshman Maros Horny rallied to knock off senior Blake Muller 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-2 and give the Bears the coveted final fourth point.
Stanford enters Tuesday's match in prime position to break through against Baylor, as the Cardinal appears to be clicking at the right time. Aside from its current four-match winning streak, Stanford has won eight of its last 10 overall. The only two losses during that stretch were heart-breaking 4-3 defeats to California and USC, as the Cardinal actually led the Golden Bears 3-1 and the Trojans 3-2 but was unable to close out the match. Stanford's only other loss, a 4-0 setback against Texas at the National Team Indoor Championships, has been the only contest this year in which the Cardinal has trailed start to finish.
A 1-0 Lead Certainly Helps
Stanford has captured the doubles point in 11 of its 13 matches so far this season, translating into a quick 1-0 lead. That includes eight sweeps. There was one match in which doubles was not played, due to weather.
Stanford's record when winning the doubles point: 10-1
Stanford's record when losing the doubles point: 0-2
Last time Stanford lost doubles point, won match: has not happened in 2010
Last time Stanford won doubles point, lost match: Feb. 20 vs. California (L, 4-3)
The 'Sixth' Man
Stanford has received solid play throughout its entire singles lineup, highlighted by dominating efforts at the No. 6 position. The lowest spot of the singles lineup has proven to be a key area, as Cardinal players on court six are 13-0 so far this year. Junior Greg Hirshman has been the primary contributor, posting an 8-0 record at the No. 6 position. Freshman Denis Lin is unbeaten in five matches at the No. 6 spot, and the rookie currently sports a personal six-match winning streak in duals overall.
Double Trouble For Opponents
Ranked as the nation's No. 1 team for a portion of the year, the sophomore duo of Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher paces the Stanford doubles attack. After capturing the 2009 Pac-10 doubles title, Klahn and Thacher have continued their success in 2010 by already winning doubles titles at the ITA Northwest Regional Championships in October and the ITA National Indoor Championships in November. The duo is 26-3 overall, 9-1 in duals, 7-1 against nationally-ranked foes and riding a 10-match winning streak.