Cats Head to Pac-10 Championships

April 23, 2008

This Week for the Wildcats: The Arizona men’s tennis team (11-11) heads to Ojai, Calif. this week to compete in the Pac-10 Individual Tennis Championships. The tournament begins on April 24, and lasts through the 27th.

Last week: The Cats finished their season with a loss to rival Arizona State on Saturday 7-0. After dropping the doubles point, Arizona suffered a blow when freshman Andres Carrasco tweaked an ankle and was forced to withdraw. Arizona then loss six singles matches to No. 14 ASU.

Pac-10 Championships: The Pac-10 championships will again be the featured event at this year's 108th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which attracts 1600 of the best college, junior and open players from the Western states. The annual event, started by William Thacher in 1896, has been played at the same site, and interrupted only five times. The Pac-10 men will be competing at Libbey Park. “It’s an opportunity for the guys to put an exclamation on the end of their year individually,” said assistant coach Tom Lloyd.

Past Winners: This combination of genteel hospitality and community spirit has played host to many of the great tennis players of this century, including: Bill Tilden, Ellsworth Vines, Helen Wills Moody, Tony Trabert, Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer, Louise Brough, Maureen Connolly, Gussie Moran, Arthur Ashe, Billy Jean King, Pancho Gonzales, Alex Olmedo, Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors. Michael Chang, Lindsay Davenport, Pete Sampras, Rick Leach, Taylor Dent and the Bryan twins. May Sutton Bundy, who won 18 Ojai titles between 1902 and 1928, was the first American to win at Wimbledon. Local favorites Mike and Bob Bryan have won multiple Grand Slam titles together, and are currently ranked No. 1 in the world in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race

The Championships on TV: As part of its affiliation with the Pac-10, FOX Sports Net will again broadcast coverage of this year's competition from Libbey Park on Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27, 2008.

Wildcats in the Rankings: The Cats wrapped up their dual match season ranked as the No. 59 team overall. Individually, Claudio Christen comes in at No. 96 for singles players. In doubles, Jay Goldman and Christen are the 54th best pair.

Some New (Volunteer) Coaching Help: This year Arizona is pleased to have ATP all-pro Taylor Dent as a volunteer assistant coach throughout the season. Dent, who was ranked as the No. 21 player in the world on August 8th 2005, suffered a back injury which caused him to miss most of the past seasons. After having successful surgery, Dent was contacted by good friend and former coach Tom Lloyd, now an assistant with Arizona, who extended the coaching invitation. Dent, while working on rehabbing his back, will coach the Wildcats on specific and individual techniques. Dent is known as an aggressive serve-and-volleyer with one of the biggest serves on the tour, tying Andy Roddick for the record of fastest serve at 155 mph.

Fall Season: The Cats participated in five fall tournaments during the fall semester...In the Midland Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational, Claudio Christen and Bruno Alcala were able to win the doubles championship…At the Aggie Fall Invitational in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Ravid Hazi advanced to the finals before falling to champion Jim Brouleau of New Mexico State…Christen competed in the prestigious Polo All American Championship in Tulsa, OK and won four matches before finally falling to No. 17 Adam Holmstrom of Denver…Peter Zimmer competed in three fall events and posted a record of 5-3.

Pac-10 Elite: UCLA claimed the Pac-10 crown this weekend when they defeated rival USC. Seven of the Eight Pac-10 teams were ranked this year. In addition, those ranked teams were consistenetly in the top 50.

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