Best tennis start in 11 years for Stanford men


Stanford's No. 3 singles player Denis Lin beat Jean-Charles Diame to clinch a 5-2 men's tennis victory over visiting Fresno State in a nonconference match Tuesday.

Bradley Klahn, Greg Hirshman and Matt Kandath also recorded victories in singles' competition as seventh-ranked Stanford (7-0) is off to its best start in 11 years.

The Cardinal competes in the final rounds of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, beginning with Friday's noon match against 11th-ranked Florida (6-1), which suffered a 4-3 setback to Illinois on Saturday.

Klahn is ranked seventh in singles play and 11th in doubles, with Ryan Thacher. Thacher ranks 52nd and Alex Clayton ranks 64th in singles.

Florida also has three players ranked in singles: Alexandre Lacroix (ninth), Sekou Bangoura (No. 43) and Bob Van Overbeek (No. 74). The Gators also have two nationally ranked doubles teams.

Florida coach Andy Jackson has 399 career wins heading into Friday's match while Lacroix is three doubles wins from establishing a Florida career record. He currently has 91 doubles victories.

Stanford also won its first seven matches in 2002. The Cardinal opened 2000, its last NCAA championship season, with 22 consecutive wins.

The winner of the Stanford-Florida match meets the winner of a match between Duke and USC in Saturday's quarterfinals. The losers meet in a consolation bracket match.

Women's tennis

Top-ranked Stanford (5-0) carries a 19-match winning streak into its quarterfinal match against 19th-ranked Arkansas (7-1) in Charlottesville, Va. Friday night.

The Cardinal did not compete in the event last year and was 1-2 in its last appearance in 2009.

Freshmen Kristie Ahn (17-3 record, 4-0 in duals, five-match winning streak, No. 20 national ranking) and Nicole Gibbs (17-4 record, 5-0 in duals, five-match winning streak, No. 21 national ranking) are tied for the team lead in victories.

Senior Hilary Barte (15-1 record, 7-0 against nationally-ranked opponents) ranks second and owns a team-high eight-match winning streak.

The Stanford-Arkansas winner meets either Michigan or Georgia Tech in Saturday's quarterfinals.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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