No. 15 Men's Tennis Hosts Oregon and No. 22 Washington
April 8, 2010
BERKELEY - The Golden Bears open up a three-match home stand to close the regular dual season as Oregon and Washington come calling. The California men's tennis team is looking to rebound after falling in two road matches to a No. 9-ranked UCLA team and a fourth-ranked USC team in Los Angeles. The race for the conference crown is still wide open as the Bears prepare to host the Ducks and Huskies. No. 16-ranked junior Pedro Zerbini holds court at No. 1 singles with 11 wins there. Sophomore Nick Andrews has moved into the team lead for singles wins with a 23-7 record; 12-3 in duals. No. 71-ranked freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt has produced a 22-8 mark in his first season on campus and continues to hold up at the second singles court. Zerbini and fellow junior Jonathan Dahan are ranked No. 26 among doubles teams and have posted a 7-4 record on the top court for the Bears.
THIS WEEK: The No. 15-ranked California men's tennis team (10-6, 1-2 Pac-10) will host a pair of Pac-10 opponents in duals at the Hellman Tennis Complex this weekend (April 9-10). No. 72 Oregon (12-7, 0-3) is up first in a 1:30 p.m. PT bout on Friday, April 9. No. 22 Washington (16-3, 1-2) will take the courts for a 1 p.m. PT match on Saturday, April 10. The Golden Bears will close out the regular season at home with a 1 p.m. match at home as they host rival Stanford on Saturday, April 17 in a 1 p.m. PT match.
BEAR TRACKER: All of Cal's home dual matches at the Hellman Tennis Complex will feature live video with scoring. Visit the men's tennis home page at CalBears.com for links. Admission to all regular-season home tennis matches is free to the general public.
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Fans and media can purchase Cal men's tennis photos at GoldenBearSports.com, the official photographer of Cal Athletics. Follow @GBSports on Twitter to get instant notifications when new albums and galleries are posted to the website. Visit www.twitter.com/gbsports to follow.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears dropped two conference duals on the road as they fell, 5-2, to No. 9 UCLA and, 6-1, to No. 4 USC in Los Angeles. Sophomore Nick Andrews and freshman Riki McLachlan each picked up wins in singles play against the Bruins to give the Bears their two points. Andrews took out No. 73-ranked Jaak Poldma of USC to earn his team-high 23rd singles victory and clinch Cal's only point against the defending NCAA champion Trojans.
ON COURT - NO. 72 OREGON: The Ducks (12-7, 0-3 Pac-10) have won just once in their last five outings; a 5-2 victory against Northern Arizona on the road. Prior to securing that victory, Oregon had dropped consecutive 7-0 matches to USC and UCLA and suffered a 6-1 loss at the hands of a No. 36-ranked Nebraska squad. The Ducks are led by No. 103-ranked senior Alexander Cornelissen at the top court. Cal has never lost to Oregon in 25 meetings.
ON COURT - NO. 22 WASHINGTON: The Huskies (16-3, 1-2 Pac-10) had a 10-match winning streak snapped in two losses at the hands of USC and UCLA. Prior to the beginning of that streak, Washington opened the season with a 5-1 record. The Huskies claimed their only conference victory with a 6-1 win over Arizona on April 2. No. 65-ranked junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan remains solid at the top court for Washington with juniors Tobi Obenaus and Alex Rosinski holding the No. 65 doubles ranking. The Bears hold a 29-7 advantage over the Huskies in the all-time series.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears are ranked No. 15 as a team in the most recent (April 6) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. The team reached No. 10 on March 2; Cal's highest ranking in seven years since it held the No. 4 ranking to conclude the 2003 season. That year, the Bears opened at No. 10 and steadily rose in the ranks towards a quarterfinal finish in the NCAA championships. Cal has three ranked singles players led by No. 16-ranked junior Pedro Zerbini. Freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt checks in at No. 71 this week with junior Jonathan Dahan holding steady at No. 116. In doubles, sophomore Nick Andrews and Konigsfeldt are ranked No. 23 with Dahan and Zerbini ranked No. 26 as a doubles team.
POWER OF THE PAC: All seven Pac-10 men's tennis teams hold rankings with five in the top 25 of the most recent (April 6) Campbell's/ITA College Tennis Poll--making it one of the toughest conferences in men's collegiate tennis. Defending NCAA Champion USC leads the conference as the third-ranked team in the country with Stanford a couple of spots behind at No. 7. Defending conference champion UCLA checks in at No. 10 with the Bears just a step back at No. 15. Washington checks in at No. 22 with Arizona just outside at No. 35. Oregon comes in at No. 72. In 2009, in addition to producing the national champion, the Pac-10 produced five ITA All-America selections and was home to the National Rookie of the Year in Stanford's Bradley Klahn.
KONIGSFELDT DOUBLES UP ON CONFERENCE HONORS: Freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt was selected Pac-10 Men's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 1-7, and repeated the feat for the week of Feb. 15-21. The native of Denmark led the Golden Bears to victories over Fresno State, Hawaii and Stanford to capture his two honors and becomes just the third Cal player to receive the honor twice in the same season. He was also the Bears' first freshman ever to win the award and is the eighth all-time Pac-10 Player of the Week selection for the Cal men.
THRICE IS NICE: Junior Pedro Zerbini was named Pac-10 Men's Tennis Player of the Week on March 16 to mark the third time in his career that he has received the honor. He was also the conference player of the week on March 23, 2009, and April 6, 2009. Zerbini is the second Golden Bear to be selected three times. Conor Niland also has three awards to his name, each coming in his senior season; 2006. Zerbini's selection also marks the second time that Cal has had at least three player of the week selections in the same year.
WHERE'S THE BEEF?: Junior Pedro Zerbini is a carnivore in every sense of the word. As somewhat of a contrarian to his surroundings, Zerbini prefers the taste of meat over that of vegetables. In fact, he chooses not to eat vegetables as a regular part of his diet. While Berkeley is widely known to provide many vegetarian and vegan dining options to the dense population of herbivores in the city limits, Zerbini may be the only meat-only eater on campus.
BO KNOWS: Junior Bozhidar Katsarov set a Cal men's tennis freshman record in 2008 as he won 35 singles matches and completed the year with a 17-7 mark in duals (35-11 overall). As a sophomore in 2009, Katsarov added 15 more victories in the face of injury and breached the 65-win plateau as a junior earlier this season.
DAHAN THAT ROCKS THE RACKET: Junior Jonathan Dahan has become a mainstay in the Cal lineup over the last three years. He earned 17 singles victories in each of his first two seasons and broke into the ITA singles rankings as a junior at No. 33 in the fall of 2009. He earned his first doubles ranking with partner Pedro Zerbini on Feb. 23, 2010, as the pair debuted at No. 31 in the nation.
FATHER FIGURE: Junior Zach Gilbert is the son of former tennis pro, television commentator and current tennis coach Brad Gilbert. The elder Gilbert won 20 singles titles as a pro and reached a world ranking of No. 4 in 1990. As a coach, Gilbert has tutored many internationally renowned stars including Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.
BROTHERLY LOVE: Freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt is the younger brother of the top singles player at UC Santa Barbara, Alex Konigsfeldt. A 6-1 junior for the Gauchos, the elder Konigsfeldt advanced to the round of 32 at the 2008 ITA Regional Championships and was once ranked fifth nationally in Denmark's under-18 rankings. He won the 2007 Danish Junior Championship and reached the National Outdoor Championships semifinals in 2006.
FALL 2009 REVIEW: The Bears concluded the 2009 fall individual tournament season with several notable achievements. Cal had four singles players and four doubles teams advance to at least the round of 16 in the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship. In singles, sophomore Nick Andrews made his way to the round of 16 where he was joined by freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt, and juniors Bozhidar Katsarov and Pedro Zerbini. Konigsfeldt moved one round further before bowing out but Katsarov and Zerbini each advanced to the semifinal round, with Zerbini moving on to the championship match. While he was knocked out in the opening round, sophomore Sky Lovill turned things around and won the singles back draw with five consecutive victories. Andrews and Konigsfeldt; junior Jonathan Dahan and Zerbini; junior Zach Gilbert and Lovill; and the team of Katsarov and freshman Riki McLachalan all advanced to the doubles round of 16 with Andrews and Konigsfeldt moving ahead to the semifinal. Konigsfeldt claimed the singles championship at the Saint Mary's Invitational and went all the way to the doubles final with Zerbini. On the other side was Andrews and Lovill, but the two pairs never played the match. Andrews alone had a shot at the singles title, but fell to Konigsfeldt, and Katsarov also made it to the singles semifinal. Dahan and Zerbini showed strongly at the D'Novo/ITA All-American Championships as the duo moved into the round of 16 after getting three wins in the qualifying rounds.