Vlaski Cruises Into Pac-10 Semifinals

April 23, 2004

OJAI, Calif. - Five matches in two days and Husky junior Alex Vlaski is still going strong at the Pac-10 Championships, where he reached the singles semifinal this afternoon with a 6-3, 6-3 win over UCLA's Alberto Francis. Vlaski, the nation's sixth-ranked player, is looking for his first Pac-10 crown after losing in the final the last two years. He will battle No. 31 Adriano Biasella of USC in Saturday's semifinal. Vlaski and Biasella faced off recently on April 9 in the UW-USC dual, with Vlaski winning handily, 6-2, 6-4.

Vlaski needed a quick recovery from last night's grueling four-hour second round match with USC's Jamil Al-Agba, in which Vlaski staged incredible comebacks in both the second and third sets to stay alive. After losing the first set 7-5, Al-Agba took a 5-2 lead in the second set before Vlaski reeled off five straight games to take the set 7-5 and force a decisive third set. Fatigued and cramping, Vlaski fell behind 4-1 in the third set and required an injury timeout to deal with the cramping. After the timeout, Al-Agba won the next game for a 5-1 lead but Vlaski improbably battled back again to force a tiebreak, which he captured 7-2. Al-Agba had a match point on his serve at 5-3 in the third set, but after an extended baseline rally, Vlaski kept the match going with a big forehand winner.

'Last night's match was close to four hours and Alex had to play doubles right before today's match,' said Head Coach Matt Anger. 'He just keeps putting it all on his shoulders and can't wait for the next challenge. He has so much fight, drive and perseverance.'

Vlaski's first round doubles match with partner Daniel Chu was no easy stroll either. The pair needed a tiebreak to settle things with Daniel Andrus and Whi Kim of Arizona, winning 9-8 (2). UW's other main doubles entrants, freshman Alex Slovic and senior Nick Weiss, pulled out a dramatic tiebreak win of their own, upsetting the 24th-ranked team of Carter Morris and Sam Warburg of Stanford 9-8, 12-10 in the tiebreak. Slovic and Weiss fended off six match points in the tiebreak, as they trailed 6-2, 8-7, and 9-8 before taking four of the final five points to move into the second round.

The quarterfinal doubles round took place following the day's singles play, and both Husky duos dropped 8-5 decisions. Vlaski and Chu lost to Stanford's KC Corkery and James Pade while Slovic and Weiss fell to UCLA's Philip Gruendler and Luben Pampoulov.

In the Invitational Singles Draw, freshman Michael Ricks lost his quarterfinal match to UCLA's No. 99 Philip Gruendler, 6-3, 6-0. However, Ricks and freshman Chris Floyd picked up an 8-5 win in the first round of the Invitational Doubles Draw, and advanced to the semifinals with a 9-7 win over Bromberg and Cochrane of Arizona.

Saturday's semifinal schedule will feature Vlaski and Biasella at 11 a.m. Floyd and Ricks play their semifinal doubles match at 2 p.m.

Washington Men's Tennis
Pac-10 Championships
April 22, 2004 - Libbey Park - Ojai, Calif.

Pac-10 Singles Main Draw - Quarterfinals

(6) Alex Vlaski (UW) def. (56) Alberto Francis (UCLA), 6-3, 6-3

Pac-10 Doubles Main Draw - First Round
(20) Vlaski/Chu (UW) def. Andrus/Kim (Arizona), 9-8 (2)
Slovic/Weiss (UW) def. (24) Morris/Warburg (Stanford), 9-8 (10)

Pac-10 Doubles Main Draw - Quartefinals
Corkery/Pade (Stanford) def. (20) Vlaski/Chu (UW) 8-5
Gruendler/Pampoulov (UCLA) def. Slovic/Weiss (UW) 8-5

Pac-10 Singles Invitational Draw - Quarterfinals
(99) Philipp Gruendler (UCLA) def. Michael Ricks (UW), 6-3, 6-0

Pac-10 Doubles Invitational Draw - First Round
Floyd/Ricks (UW) def. Leivent/Wong (Cal), 8-5

Pac-10 Doubles Invitational Draw - Quarterfinals
Floyd/Ricks (UW) def. Bromberg/Cochrane (Arizona), 9-7

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