By the bay or the beach, the location doesn’t matter for the Bears. The Cal men’s tennis team wrapped up a successful weekend at both San Francisco’s Battle in the Bay and UC Santa Barbara’s UCSB Classic. Most notably, freshman Andre Goransson pulled off a 6-0, 6-2 upset of senior Campbell Johnson for the singles title in San Francisco.
Johnson, seeded No.1 in the draw, recovered from a hip injury scare earlier this week. After receiving a bye in the first round, Johnson fought off rustiness with a three-set win over Boise State’s Toby Mitchell, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5. He later defeated both Stanford’s Daniel Ho and David Sofaer of Pepperdine in straight sets.
Goransson handily defeated his opponents, such as USC’s Nick Crystal and UCLA’s Joseph DiGuillo, in straight sets. To reach the finals, he edged out San Diego State’s Thorsten Bertsch, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. His play this weekend proved to be promising for the spring season.
Other Bears advanced to the quarterfinals. Before quickly exiting 1-6, 0-6 to Santa Clara’s Ilya Osintsev, freshman Filip Bergevi knocked out fourth-seeded Nolan Paige from Stanford, 6-0, 6-2. Similarly, junior Gregory Bayane was unable to eliminate third-seeded John Lamble of Santa Clara, falling 2-6, 3-6.
Doubles play in San Francisco ended early for Cal. Both teams entered had first-round exits. In a hotly contested match, Bayane-Goransson lost to Pepperdine’s duo of Stefan Menichella-Sofaer, 7-8(3). Bergevi-Johnson fell in a very close match as well; Pacific’s Miguel Diaz and Sam Verbeek defeated the Cal duo, 8-6.
Down in Santa Barbara, the Bears reached the finals in both Flight A doubles and singles draws, in which the format allowed for four singles matches and three doubles matches.
“The format is challenging, but we really got a lot out of it,” said head coach Peter Wright. “We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish.”
Junior Nikhil Jayashankar won the singles title when his opponent, UC Davis’ Alec Adamson, retired at 5-0 with a knee injury. Leading up to the finals, Jayashankar, with his physical and defensive game, fought through in tight three-setters, including an up-and-down 2-6, 7-6, 6-2 win over UC Davis’ James Wade in the semis. Sophomore Wyatt Houghton lost to Wade in the third-place match in a close three-setter, 5-7, 6-2, 1-0(4). With his partner, junior Chase Melton, Houghton also lost in the doubles finals, 6-8, to Adamson-Wade of UC Davis.
In Flight B singles, sophomore Jordan Smith placed fifth after a default from UC Davis’ Mitch Thorop. On the other hand, junior Jack Sanford did not contest for the seventh-place finish due to a hip injury he picked up Saturday.
The experience from this weekend will prove to be useful when the squad competes in the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships next weekend. This tournament marks the peak of the fall season.
“Regionals are always tough with the best teams on the West Coast playing,” Wright said. “We did well here. All of our guys seem to be playing at the level that we want them. But it’s hard to predict with what we’re going to do.”
Jennifer Yu covers men’s tennis. Contact her at [email protected].