Golden Bears Head to Pebble Beach for Collegiate Tennis Classic

March 20, 2009


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THIS WEEK: The No. 46-ranked California men's tennis team (6-5) will make the short trip down the coast this weekend to participate in the fourth annual Pebble Beach Collegiate Tennis Classic hosted by the University of San Francisco at the Beach and Tennis Club in Pebble Beach, Calif. The Golden Bears take on Southern Methodist (10-7, 0-1 Conference USA) on Saturday (March 21) at 10 a.m. before facing San Francisco (4-7, 1-1 WCC) in a 1 p.m. match on Sunday (March 22).

LAST WEEK: The Bears buckled down and picked up three wins last week. First Cal took out UAB, 6-1, on Tuesday with dominating performances on all courts. The Bears then defeated Michigan State, 6-1, and claimed the doubles point over the Spartans for just third time in Michigan State's 14 matches. Next, Cal closed out the successful home-stand by putting No. 29-ranked Tulsa through a 5-2 loss on the road. Sophomore Pedro Zerbini got his team-high 14th singles win of the year with his 7-5, 6-3 win over Alex Forger of Michigan State and fought No, 3-ranked Arnau Brugues of Tulsa to a three-set finish. Zerbini and senior Geoff Chizever continued their hot streak and won their ninth dual doubles match together. The two now have a 20-4 record on the year. Freshman Thai Tu got two wins last week and moved his record to 13-5 (5-2 in duals) while sophomore Jonathan Dahan improved to 12-8 on the year with his three two-set victories.

BEARS IN THE RANKS: Cal holds the No. 46 spot in the most recent (March 17) Campbell's/ITA College Tennis Rankings. Sophomore Pedro Zerbini and senior Geoff Chizever are the No. 9-ranked doubles team in the nation.

ON COURT - SOUTHERN METHODIST: The Mustangs (10-7, 0-1 Conference USA) have won their last three matches and four of their last five as SMU heads west for the weekend. After opening the season with three close losses, the Mustangs reeled off six consecutive victories. Shortly thereafter, SMU lost three straight once more before embarking on the run they have most recently been on. The Mustangs are 8-2 at home but just 2-5 in road matches. No. 60-ranked freshman Robin Fahgen leads the team with 12 singles wins on the year while No. 38-ranked sophomore duo of Adham el-Effendi and Darren Walsh will take their spot on the top doubles court for the young Mustangs. Cal and SMU have faced each other in 16 matches all-time with a clean 8-8 split in the all-time series. Last year, the Mustangs claimed a 4-2 win at Pebble Beach to stun the Bears.

ON COURT - SAN FRANCISCO: The Dons (4-7, 1-1 WCC) host the matches at Pebble Beach this weekend and head in fresh off of a 7-0 victory over Northern Colorado in which they won all six singles contests in straight sets. USF was paced by No. 122-ranked senior Thong (Tommy) Tu. Tu is the elder brother of Cal freshman Thai Tu. The elder Tu won his sixth consecutive match to run his record at No. 1 singles to 6-4 on the year, 10-6 overall. Tu and junior Asaf Cohen play together at the top doubles court and have a 6-0 record this spring. Also anchoring USF's doubles efforts is junior duo, Einar Hart and Rainer Nachbauer, who are 5-1 in doubles action, including 3-0 on the top two courts. The Bears and Dons have met 39 times with Cal coming out on top 32 of those times. Last year, the Bears claimed a 7-0 victory over USF at Pebble Beach.

POWER OF THE PAC: The Pacific-10 Conference features six teams ranked in the top 50 of the most recent (March 17) Campbell's/ITA College Tennis Poll making it one of the toughest conferences in all of collegiate men's tennis. Stanford holds the top ranking as the Cardinal checks in at No. 2. USC is ranked No. 10 and UCLA sits at No. 12. Arizona is ranked No. 20 with the 23rd-ranked Huskies not far behind to give the conference five teams in the top 25 alone. Cal checks in at No. 46 with just Oregon remaining unranked. Last year, six teams from the Pac-10 earned bids to the NCAA tournament with four advancing to the second round. USC and UCLA each advanced to the quarterfinal round where they faced each other with UCLA advancing to the semifinal match. A duo from USC won the doubles championship and Alex Clayton of Stanford advanced to the semifinal of the singles competition among just a short list of conference accomplishments.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Bears have won the doubles point in nine matches this season and have emerged with the team victory in seven of those nine wins. The Cal lineup features one of the top-10 doubles teams in the country in senior Geoff Chizever and sophomore Pedro Zerbini who hold down the No. 9 ranking with a 20-4 record this year. The two have owned the top doubles court in dual matches to come up with a 9-1 record there.

FALL 2008 REVIEW: Cal enjoyed a successful fall individual tournament season, highlighted by the play of the doubles team of senior Geoff Chizever and sophomore Pedro Zerbini. The pair won the ITA Northern Cal Championship doubles title and earned an automatic berth to the ITA National Indoor Championships. The duo also won the doubles title at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic on their way to an 11-3 record together. Kallim Stewart won the coveted Norma Miner Award at the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic as he swept through his singles matches over the course of the three day tournament. Sophomores Andy Chirita and Zach Gilbert took home the Fresno State Bulldog Classic B Flight doubles title and fellow sophomore duo Jonathan Dahan and Bozhidar Katsarov advanced to the doubles quarterfinal of the ITA Northern Cal Championships. Unattached, Zerbini advanced to the singles final at the Bulldog Classic and the singles quarterfinal at the Wilson/ITA Northern Cal Championships.

HEAD COACH Peter Wright: 16th-year head coach Peter Wright has led the Golden Bears to the postseason play a school-record nine consecutive years and has only missed the NCAA tournament once in his career. He won his 200th match at Cal last season and is 209-153 (.577) overall (53-63, .457 Pac-10). His first coaching award came when he was named the 1994 Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year and earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 2001. Under Wright, nine Cal players have combined to receive 13 All-America selections. Wright has also served as Chairman of the NCAA Tennis Committee as well as on the executive board of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).

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