BERKELEY – Sixteenth-ranked California begins Pac-12 Conference action when it plays at Arizona and No. 52 Utah this week. The Golden Bears bring a 10-3 record into Friday’s 1:30 p.m. PT match against the Wildcats (11-8); Cal plays the Utes (12-3) at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday.
Cal moved up one spot in the ITA team poll that came out on Tuesday. There are two Bears ranked in the ITA singles poll and two Cal duos ranked in the ITA doubles poll (see below).
Scouting the Bears
Senior Ben McLachlan, who has a singles record of 4-6, is Cal’s highest ranked singles player at No. 70
Senior Campbell Johnson (16-8) is ranked 89th
Juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton are ranked No. 14 in doubles; the tandem is unbeaten (10-0) in dual matches and has a 15-2 overall record
The 4-3 team of McLachlan and freshman Andre Goransson is ranked 67th in doubles
Cal has won two straight dual matches
Bayane earned the Pac-12 Player of the Week honor on Jan. 28 after winning two singles and two doubles matches when Cal played in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Pepperdine
Two proud Cal alumni lead the Golden Bears: Peter Wright (class of ’91) is in his 21st year as head coach, while associate head coach Tyler Browne (class of 2008) is in his sixth year on the staff
Scouting the Wildcats
Cal will play Arizona at the Wildcats’ LaNelle Robson Tennis Center
Live stats for the match will be available by clicking here
Arizona and Cal are both 1-0 against their one common opponent, Saint Mary’s; Cal beat the Gaels 4-0, while Arizona beat Saint Mary’s 6-1
The Wildcats beat Saint Mary’s in its most recent match, on March 16 in Tucson, Ariz.
Arizona has alternated wins and losses over its last seven contests
The Wildcats do not have any ranked singles or doubles players
Tad Berkowitz is in his eighth year as head coach of Arizona
Scouting the Utes
Utah, which hosts Stanford on Friday, has won five out its last six dual matches
Most recently, the Utes won at UNLV, 4-3, on March 13 and vs. Marquette, 4-3, on March 14 in Las Vegas
Cal will play Utah at either the Eccles Tennis Center (outdoors) or, if the weather is bad, at Coach Mike's Tennis Academy (indoors)
The Utes do not have any ranked singles or doubles players
Utah’s F.D. Robbins is in his 28th season as head coach
Leading at one point 3-1 in the overall contest, No. 17 California got a clutch performance from freshman Filip Bergevi to hold off the resurgent Waves and ultimately edge No. 46 Pepperdine, 4-3, on March 23 in Malibu, Calif. Cal improved its record to 10-3 after the nonconference victory, while Pepperdine fell to 10-11.
Bergevi, ranked 117th in singles, defeated No. 115 David Sofaer, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, on court three to wrap up the win.
The Bears began the match by winning the doubles point. The 76th-ranked tandem of senior Ben McLachlan and freshman Andre Goransson started with an 8-3 win over Alex Giannini/Tom Hill on court two, and then Cal juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton upset the Waves’ team of No.15 Francis Alcantara/Alex Sarkissian, 8-4, to capture the point.
Pepperdine tied the match at 1-1 when 27th-ranked Alex Sarkissian beat the 84th-ranked McLachlan, 6-0, 6-1. But sophomore Mads Engsted gave the lead back to Cal with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Kento Tanaka-Tamaki on court six. Bayane beat Hill on court five, 7-5, 6-2, to make the score 3-1.
The matches tightened up from there, as Cal senior Campbell Johnson – ranked 81st – dropped a three-setter, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, to Francis Alcantara on court two, and Goransson, ranked 113th, took Stefan Menichella to two set tiebreakers before falling, 7-6(5), 7-6(3). That knotted the overall match at 3-3.
In Bergevi’s match, the Cal freshman hit a passing shot down the right line in the third set to beat Sofaer and clinch the dual.
Cal Hosts McManus/Legends Day on April 12
Prior to the start of California’s April 12 home match against Washington, the Golden Bears will celebrate the life and career of late Cal star Jim McManus.
McManus passed away after a two-year battle with cancer on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011. A member of both the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame and the USTA Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame, McManus was one of the founding fathers of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). A week before he passed away McManus talked dearly about his love of Cal, his contributions to tennis worldwide, and the book he had then recently published, Tennis History: Professional Tournaments - Winners and Runners Up. McManus, 70 when he passed away, was in the tennis arena for more than 50 years as a player, an administrator and fan of the game.
As a founding member, and member of the original Board of Directors at the ATP in 1972, McManus spent 28 years as an employee with the ATP Tour working in various departments: the ranking system, tournament representation and development, pension plan, player entry department, Senior Tour and alumni services. At Cal, he attained All-America honors in tennis by reaching the 1961 NCAA doubles championship and was an All-American in 1963 as well. Before the advent of the ATP rankings, he was twice ranked in the top 10 of the U.S. singles and was twice No. 2 in doubles (with Bill Hoogs in 1963 and Jim Osborne in 1969). He reached the 1968 U.S. Open semifinals with Osborne.
A native of Northern California, Jim's interest in playing tennis came from his parents. He learned the game at the Berkeley Tennis Club from a series of coaches, the most prominent of whom was Tom Stow, who taught 1938 Grand Slam champion Don Budge. McManus is survived by his wife, Carole, of 30 years, and their two children, Kate and Jordy.
Cal plays two conference matches in Los Angeles – at No. 5 UCLA on April 4 and at No. 1 USC on April 5.