Golden Bears Suffer 4-3 Heartbreaker to No. 17 Pepperdine

April 7, 2009


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The No. 37-ranked California men's tennis team (9-8, 1-2 Pac-10) suffered a heart-breaking 4-3 loss to No. 17 Pepperdine (15-8, 1-0 WCC) on Senior Day today at the San Francisco Tennis Club. The Golden Bears honored seniors Geoff Chizever and Eoin Heavey in their final home matches before play began. Cal claimed the doubles point for the 12th time this season but fell as the Waves fought back in singles.

The Bears found themselves in a bind at the outset as No. 13-ranked duo, Chizever and sophomore Pedro Zerbini fell in an 8-1 loss at the top court to No. 10 Omar Altmann and Bassam Beidas. Down a match for the doubles point, Cal also trailed, 5-4, on courts two and three. After earning the break to knot things up at five-all on court two, Cal's sophomore tandem of Jonathan Dahan and Bozhidar Katsarov fought to go up by two games at 7-5 over Hugh Clark and Mahmoud Kamel. The Waves took one more game before the Bears put things away with an 8-6 victory to tie things up for the doubles point.

At No. 3 doubles, freshmen Nick Andrews and Thai Tu were on the ropes as they trailed against the serve, 7-6. Forcing the hand of Stuart Keplar and Alex Llompart, the two rallied to break the Waves for a seven-all tie. Both sides held serve to bring the score to eight-all, forcing a tiebreaker. The Bears slow-called the opening of the breaker to stay with Pepperdine at three-all before blowing the doors off the match with a four-point run to claim the doubles point for Cal.

Capitalizing on the doubles point momentum, Katsarov made short work of Clarke at No. 5 singles as he claimed a 6-2, 6-4 win to put the Bears up, 2-0. Pepperdine answered back, however, as No. 43-ranked Altmann took out Heavey in straight sets at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-3. The Waves reached a crescendo with their next win coming at court three as Andrews fell in a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Llompart.

With the score tied at three-all, Kamel pushed Pepperdine over the top for its first lead (3-2) with his 6-4, 6-4 win against Tu at court four. Over at court six, Dahan put a stop to the Waves' streak when he defeated Alex Moreno, 6-1, 6-4, to tie the score once more at three all as the top court began its third set. Dahan's win was his 15th singles victory of the year.

On court one, No. 81-ranked Zerbini won his first set, 6-3, but No. 32 Beidas answered with a win of his own, taking the second set, 6-4. In the third set, the two stayed on serve through the first three games before Beidas broke Zerbini's serve to claim a 3-1 lead. Zerbini then broke back and then held his own serve to knot the set at three-games all. Beidas held once more before replying with another break and held on to win the third set, 6-3; ending the match in favor of Pepperdine, 4-3.

The Bears return to the road for two more conference matches as they head to No. 21 Washington for a 1 p.m. match on Friday, April 10, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle, Wash. and Oregon for another 1 p.m. match on Saturday, April 11, at the Student Tennis Center in Eugene, Ore. Live stats and video will be available for the Washington match via the men's tennis page at

No. 17 Pepperdine 4, No. 37 California 3San Francisco Tennis Club | San Francisco, Calif.Tuesday, April 7, 2009Doubles1. No. 10 Altmann/Beidas (PEPP) def. No. 13 Chizever/Zerbini (CAL) 8-12. Dahan/Katsarov (CAL) def. Clarke/Kamel (PEPP) 8-63. N. Andrews/Tu (CAL) def. Keplar/Llompart (PEPP) 9-8(3)Order of finish: 1, 2, 3* (California wins doubles point)Singles1. No. 32 Bassam Beidas (PEPP) def. No. 81 Pedro Zerbini (CAL) 2-6, 6-4, 6-32. No. 43 Omar Altmann (PEPP) def. Eoin Heavey (CAL) 6-2, 6-33. Alex Llompart (PEPP) def. Nick Andrews (CAL) 6-3, 6-44. Mahmoud Kamel (PEPP) def. Thai Tu (CAL) 6-4, 6-45. Bozhidar Katsarov (CAL) def. Hugh Clarke (PEPP) 6-2, 6-46. Jonathan Dahan (CAL) def. Alex Moreno (PEPP) 6-1, 6-4Order of finish: 5, 2, 3, 4, 6, 1*

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