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Huskies Into Pac-12 Semis, Shock No. 1-Seed Arizona

Apr 21, 2022

Pac-12 Championships
Apr. 20-23, Ojai, Calif.
Libbey Park

Wednesday, Apr. 20 - First Round
(8) Washington def. (9) Oregon, 4-2

Thursday, Apr. 21 - Quarterfinal
(8) Washington def. (1) Arizona, 4-2

Friday, Apr. 22 - Semifinal
(8) Washington vs. (5) UCLA, 1 p.m. | Live Scoring | No video coverage until Pac-12 final

OJAI, Calif. – Washington picked up its biggest win of the season at the perfect time today, stunning No. 1-seed Arizona in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Men's Tennis Championships. A clinching victory from freshman César Bouchelaghem sent the Dawgs are into the Pac-12 semifinals for the first time since the team tournament started in 2012, where they will face UCLA on Friday at 1 p.m.
The Dawgs stunned a Wildcats squad that had just beaten the Huskies in Seattle on Sunday, 4-1, to clinch their first ever regular season Pac-12 title. But UW got payback and gave a huge boost to its NCAA postseason chances with a 4-2 victory over the 15th-ranked team in the nation.
Where to start? "We start with the doubles," said Head Coach Matt Anger. "We came out really well on all three courts. We got up a break on all of them, we were able to continue breaking serve. And we just stayed on it. The main thing we did in the doubles was execute. Easier said than done, but we did it."
Indeed the Huskies did start quick, with Jack Davis and Ewen Lumsden winning the first four games on court No. 1, and then proceeding to a 6-2 victory over 48th-ranked Hoeyeraal/Ziverts. At the No. 2 spot, Clement Chidekh and Nedim Suko broke for a 4-2 lead and kept up the pressure until they also wrapped up a 6-2 win over Hassey and Strom. Brandon Wong and Cesar Bouchelaghem were on serve at 3-4 when the point was clinched.
Leading 1-0 heading into singles, the Huskies kept the pressure applied by ultimately winning four of the six first sets. Clemend Chidekh rolled to a 6-1 win at the top spot, Jack Davis battled into a tiebreak and came out on top, and then Bouchelaghem and Suko both rallied from early holes to take their first sets on five and six. Bouchelaghem was down 0-2 but won six of the next seven games, and Suko trailed 0-4 before reeling off six games in a row.
Chidekh would get the first Husky singles point after Arizona had taken the first match at No. 3 singles. The sixth-ranked junior got another ranked win, beating 51st-ranked Gustaf Strom, 6-1, 6-3.
Davis, after his first set tiebreak win against 45th-ranked Jonas Ziverts, broke serve in the second set for a 3-2 lead and held for 4-2. He then was serving for the match at 5-4, but Ziverts reached a deuce deciding point that would either end the match, or make it 5-5. Davis came through, taking down the top-50 opponent and putting the Huskies one point away.
Arizona answered with a win on court four, where Han-Chih Lin nearly forced a third set against 100th-ranked Herman Hoeyeraal, but he fell just short, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).
That left it up to the five and six courts, which are separate from the other four at Libbey Park. Crowds arrived to find Bouchelaghem up a set but down 3-5 in the second, and Nedim Suko about to start a third set at No. 6 singles.
Bouchelaghem made a move, breaking Carlos Hassey's serve to get back even at 5-5. The two both held serve and went to a tiebreak. Hassey won the first point but Bouchelaghem then won three in a row. He got a 5-2 lead, and reached match point at 6-3. Hassey saved one, but Bouchelaghem got it done on his second chance to end it, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
"In the singles we were tough on five of the six courts and I think it put a lot of pressure on them," said Anger. "It's so nice when we're playing tough on as many as possible, we can be pretty good and we can beat top teams. I think the difference in the improvement of our team this year is everyone knows we've got a top guy, and that gives a team confidence. Then our freshmen have been doing well but struggled early on the road, and now they're playing on the road like they were early at home. It was a great experience obviously for Cesar to clinch the match today, especially coming back from 5-3 down in the second set."
The Huskies are the first No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 in the Pac-12 tourney, although the current format only dates to 2018, and one seeds received byes in the past. UW is the first eight seed to reach the Pac-12 semifinals.
The win over the 15th-ranked Wildcats is Washington's highest-ranked team win since upsetting No. 8 USC on Mar. 25, 2016.
Washington Men's Tennis
Pac-12 Championships – Quarterfinals
April 21, 2022
Libbey Park | Ojai, Calif.
#53 (8-seed) Washington – 4
#15 (1-seed) Arizona – 2
1. (#6) Clement Chidekh (UW) def. (#51) Gustaf Strom (Ariz) – 6-1, 6-3
2. Jack Davis (UW) def. (#45) Jonas Ziverts (Ariz) – 7-6 (2), 6-4
3. Colton Smith (Ariz) def. Ewen Lumsden (UW) – 6-0, 6-0
4. (#100) Herman Hoeyeraal (Ariz) def. Han-Chih Lin (UW) – 6-2, 7-6 (4)
5. Cesar Bouchelaghem (UW) def. Carlos Hassey (Ariz) – 6-3, 7-6 (4)
6. Nedim Suko (UW) vs. Nick Lagaev (Ariz) – 6-4, 3-6, 2-2, DNF
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2, 4, 5
1. (#33) Davis/Lumsden (UW) def. (#48) Hoeyeraal/Ziverts (Ariz) – 6-2
2. Chidekh/Suko (UW) def. Hassey/Strom (Ariz) – 6-2
3. Bouchelaghem/Wong (UW) vs. Malbasic/Smith (Ariz) – 3-4, DNF
Order of Finish: 1, 2