Washington Knocks Off 20th-Ranked Arizona, 6-1

March 29, 2009

SEATTLE - The Washington men's tennis team started off Pac-10 play with a bang this afternoon, downing 20th-ranked Arizona, 6-1, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The 26th-ranked Huskies (12-5, 1-0 Pac-10) snapped the Wildcats' 14-match winning streak, dropping Arizona to 16-2 and 1-1 in conference.

The Huskies put on a clinic in the top two doubles matches to gain the early 1-0 lead. At No. 1 doubles, the 44th-ranked tandem of Patrik Fischer and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan raced out to a 3-0 lead. With UW serving in the next game, Arizona's Francois VanderMerwe and Pat Metham had triple break point to get back into the match, but Fischer won five straight points on his serve and the Huskies went on to win, 8-1.

The Huskies were just as impressive at No. 2 doubles, with Martin Kildahl and Derek Drabble controlling the net throughout an 8-3 win over Andres Arango and Andres Carrasco. Arizona salvaged a win at No. 3 doubles, with Jay Goldman and Raid Hazi topping David Chu and Ryo Sekiguchi, 8-5.

Moving on to singles play, Chu came up big at No. 4 singles, downing Ravid Hazi, 6-1, 6-2. The senior improves to 10-3 in dual play and 14-5 on the season. Fischer followed Chu with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Arango at No. 2 singles to put UW up 3-0.

The clincher came from Drabble at No. 5 singles against Metham. The junior fought off two set points in a first set tiebreak to win the breaker, 12-10. Drabble then carried that momentum to a 4-0 second set lead and went on to win, 6-2.

'I would single Derek out as having a very good day,' said head coach Matt Anger. 'He was extremely sharp in doubles along with Martin, and then struggled in his first set in singles but when he was able to pull out the set in the tiebreak, I thought that was one of the turning points not just in his match but in the overall outlook.'

Kildahl put the Huskies ahead 5-0 with a hard-hitting 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 win over Carrasco at third singles. Kildahl is now 12-4 in dual play. Arizona's Jason Zafiros got the Wildcats on the board at sixth singles, despite trailing much of the match and facing match point against Sekiguchi. Sekiguchi won the first set easily, 6-1, but Zafiros took the second set in a tiebreak. With the match already clinched, the two played a super-tiebreak for the third, and Zafiros saved a match point down 8-9 and eventually won, 11-9.

The last battle was in the top singles match, where 33rd-ranked Nedunchehziyan was locked in a close affair with 64th-ranked Jay Goldman. In the first set, Goldman broke serve at his first opportunity and that was the only break in a 6-3 win for the Wildcat. Nedunchezhiyan figured out Goldman's serve in the second set, winning 6-4. The two stayed on serve in the third set until Goldman struck first with a break to go up 4-3, but from there Nedunchezhiyan was the one who raised his game, and started ripping forehand winners one after another that helped him break right back. Nedunchezhiyan then held at love and broke serve again to cap a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory. The sophomore is now 15-2 in dual play and has won five straight and 12 of his last 13.

'We've been getting better every week and will continue to seek to improve,' said Anger. 'In the Pac-10, every match is very tough but the upside is that you get a big reward for every win.'

Next up for the Dawgs is a trip to Los Angeles for Pac-10 showdowns with 8th-ranked USC and 11th-ranked UCLA. The Trojans are up first on Friday, April 3, at 1:30 p.m.

Washington Men's Tennis
February 22, 2009 - Seattle, Wash.
Nordstrom Tennis Center

No. 26 Washington 6, No. 20 Arizona 1

1) (44) Fischer/Nedunchezhiyan (UW) def. (53) VanderMerwe/Metham (UA), 8-1
2) (69) Drabble/Kildahl (UW) def. Arango/Carrasco (UA), 8-3
3) Hazi/Goldman (UA) def. Chu/Sekiguchi (UW), 8-5
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3

1) (33) Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (UW) def. (64) Jay Goldman (UA), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
2) (91) Patrik Fischer (UW) def. Andres Arango (UA), 6-4, 6-1
3) Martin Kildahl (UW) def. Andres Carrasco (UA), 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
4) David Chu (UW) def. Ravid Hazi (UA), 6-1, 6-2
5) Derek Drabble (UW) def. Pat Metham (UA), 7-6 (10), 6-2
6) Jason Zafiros (UA) def. Ryo Sekiguchi (UW), 1-6, 7-6 (3), (11-9)
Order of finish: 4, 2, 5, 3, 6, 1

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