By Shan Reddy
Four doubles duos from the No. 5 Stanford men’s tennis team will compete in the 130th Annual Pacific Coast Doubles Championships this weekend at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. The tournament is the second-oldest tennis event in the United States and features some of the top doubles teams on the West Coast.
Sophomores Axel Geller and Christian Kontaxis will take on junior Len Kamemoto and senior Matthew Mead from Chapman University in the first round at 8:00 a.m. on Friday; Stanford’s other three doubles teams drew first-round byes.
Geller was named the Pac-12 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week last Tuesday after defeating Florida’s No. 17 Oliver Crawford and Tulane’s No. 70 Luis Erlenbusch back-to-back at the ITA Division 1 National Men’s Team Indoor Championship in Chicago during the February 16-18 Presidents’ Day tournament weekend. The sophomore has played the majority of his doubles matches this season alongside freshman Alexandre Rotsaert; the duo has gone 10-4 together on the season. However, Rotsaert is sitting out the tournament due to an undisclosed minor injury.
Though Geller and Kontaxis have not played together in a dual match yet this season, the duo will debut against a doubles team in Kamemoto/Mead that lost the only match they played this season earlier this month at home to Hope International’s Rae/Trifunovic.
Freshman Tomas Kopczynski and sophomore Timothy Sah will also pair up for the first time this season in dual match play; their first match is set for 1:15 p.m. on Friday.
Sah has been a strong contributor this season in doubles play with an overall record of 16-8. The San Diego native has played his last nineteen doubles matches alongside senior captain Sameer Kumar; the duo has gone 14-5 over that stretch since pairing up for the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships last October.
Juniors Jack Barber and William Genesen, who have seen a lot of playing time together with a 9-4 record on the season including a 7-5 upset of Cal’s No. 42 Molly/Zincirli last weekend, will compete together at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.
Finally, Kumar will team up with Stanford volunteer assistant coach Francis Sargeant for the first time this season; the duo will play at 12:30 p.m. on Friday. Sargeant was the No. 1 ranked under-18 player in the United Kingdom in 2010 and 2011. He left BYU after four years ranked sixth on the program’s all-time wins list with 91 career singles victories.
Following this weekend’s tournament, Stanford will remain on campus for a slate of dual match games; the team’s next away game does not come until early April at Utah. Next weekend, the Cardinal faces Arizona State (4-5) at 3 p.m. on Friday and No. 22 Arizona (9-1) at 2 p.m. on Saturday; Arizona has outplayed their ranking this season and suffered their only loss at the hands of No. 8 Mississippi State (8-2) late last month.
After a long stretch of road matches that included six top-twenty teams this month alone, the Stanford men’s tennis team has earned some time back at home as they gear up to make a run for the Pac-12 Championships this spring.
Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’ stanford.edu.