BERKELEY – California head coach Peter Wright leads his Golden Bears to the 13th annual Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic, that will run from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22 at Meadowood Napa Valley Resort in St. Helena, Calif. Wright and Meadowood tennis pro Doug King co-founded the tournament, which includes 32 players – 24 collegians and eight members of the USTA Junior National Team.
Alabama, Florida State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Tulsa and the USTA juniors will join Cal for a round-robin singles tournament at Meadowood. In singles, eight groups of four players – including three collegians and one USTA junior – will play a round-robin competition, with one match per day, starting on Friday morning. The group winners will enter into an eight-man tiebreaker shootout draw on Sunday. The shootout winner will receive a main draw wild card into a future USTA pro circuit event. The event will also feature doubles action.
On Sunday, tournament officials will present the Norma Miner Outstanding Player Award to the player who best exhibits excellence in play and in sportsmanship during the three-day event.
In 2012, Cal produced its best finish at the Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic, posting a 10-1 singles record, not including the playoff rounds of the shootout. Former Bears Christoffer Konigsfeldt and Riki McLachlan joined then-freshman Mads Engsted in reaching the singles quarterfinals.
The current Bears are coming off of a Sept. 18 scrimmage with the USTA juniors in Berkeley, where Cal won five singles matches and one doubles match.
Scouting the Bears
Prior to the Sept. 18 matches with the USTA junior, Cal played at the Harvard Chowder Fest from Sept. 13-15 in Boston
Cal freshman Andre Goransson posted a 2-1 singles record at Harvard
Juniors Nikhil Jayashankar and Jack Sanford each notched a 2-2 singles mark in Boston
Seniors Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson earned ITA preseason singles rankings of No. 27 and 41, respectively, this season
The two did not compete in Boston due to injury but played against the USTA squad
McLachlan and sophomore Mads Engsted earned a No. 41 doubles ranking in the ITA preseason poll
The ITA will release its first set of team rankings – and its next set of singles and doubles polls – on Jan. 2
Peter Wright (class of 1991) is in his 21st season as head coach at his alma mater, while associate head coach Tyler Browne – Cal class of 2008 – is in his sixth year
Scouting the Field
Texas A&M boasts four ranked players in the ITA preseason singles poll: Jeremy Efferding (11th), Shane Vinsant (56th), Harrison Adams (67th) and Junior Ore (78th)
Tulsa’s Japie De Klerk (12th) – who reached the NCAA semifinals last season – and Clifford Marsland (30th) also appear in the ITA singles poll
Alabama has two ranked singles players: Daniil Proskura (95th) and Becker O’Shaughnessey (100th)
Stanford likewise has two ranked singles players: John Morrissey (37th) and Nolan Paige (97th)
Two Florida State players – No. 57 Dominic Cotrone and No. 116 Benjamin Lock – are also in the ITA poll
The doubles field includes two ITA-ranked pairs from Texas A&M – No. 3 Ore/Jackson Withrow and No. 12 Adams/Vinsant
Florida State’s Cotrone/Blake Davis hold a No. 5 ranking
Alabama’s O’Shaughnessey/Proskura are ranked 15th
Tulsa’s Marsland and Dylan McCloskey are No. 57 in the ITA doubles poll
The Bears head to Fresno State for the Bulldog Classic, which runs from Sept. 27-29 in Fresno, Calif.