Flames Drop Saturday Match to Arizona at ITA Kickoff Weekend
The Arizona Wildcats defeated the Liberty Flames 4-0 in Saturday afternoon's ITA Kickoff Weekend consolation match at the Texas Tennis Center.
Liberty finishes 0-2 on the weekend and is now 1-3 overall after falling to the Wildcats, who were among others receiving votes in the preseason Top 25 poll. Arizona improves its 2021 record to 3-1 and is now 2-0 all-time against the Flames.
In a match interrupted by two weather delays, one after the doubles session and one during singles, Arizona earned doubles victories in the No. 1 and No. 3 slots and two-set wins at No. 4, No. 5 and No. 3 singles.
Arizona 4, Liberty 0
1. #50 Jonas Ziverts (ARIZ) vs. Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) 6-1, 2-5, unfinished
2. Alejandro Reguant (ARIZ) vs. Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) 6-1, 6-5, unfinished
3. #105 Gustaf Strom (ARIZ) def. Goncalo Ferreira (LIBERTYM) 6-2, 6-4
4. #54 Filip Malbasic (ARIZ) def. R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) 6-2, 6-2
5. Carlos Hassey (ARIZ) def. Christiaan Worst (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 6-4
6. Nick Lagaev (ARIZ) vs. Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 5-1, unfinished
1. Jett Middleton/Jonas Ziverts (ARIZ) def. Goncalo Ferreira/Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) 7-5
2. Carlos Hassey/Alejandro Reguant (ARIZ) vs. Deji Thomas-Smith/Christiaan Worst (LIBERTYM) 5-5, unfinished
3. Filip Malbasic/Gustaf Strom (ARIZ) def. Nicaise Muamba/R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (4,5,3)
How It Happened
• The Wildcats' Filip Malbasic and Gustaf Strom bested Liberty's Nicaise Muamba and Rafael Marques Da Silva 6-2 in the No. 3 position. Jett Middleton and Jonas Ziverts of Arizona sealed the doubles point on court one with a 7-5 decision over the Flames' Goncalo Ferreira and Josh Wilson.
• No. 54 Malbasic (Arizona) topped reigning ASUN Player of the Week Marques Da Silva (Liberty) 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4 singles for a 2-0 Wildcats lead. On court five, Carlos Hassey of Arizona upended the Flames' Christiaan Worst 6-3, 6-4.
• Holding a 3-0 lead, Arizona finished the match with a 6-2, 6-4 victory from No. 105 Strom versus Ferreira in the No. 3 position for the 4-0 win.
• Liberty's Muamba trailed by a set to No. 50 Ziverts at No. 1 singles but led 5-2 in the second set when his match was abandoned. Last night, Muamba bested No. 57 Siem Woldeab of Texas in straight sets (6-4, 6-0). He leads the Flames with a 2-1 singles record, this season.
• This weekend marked Liberty's first-ever appearance at the prestigious ITA Kickoff Weekend featuring the top teams in the country.
• Liberty will return home and take on in-state foe Old Dominion, Jan. 31. First serve between the Flames and Monarchs (0-1) is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Crosswhite Athletic Club in Lynchburg.
• The Flames are in search of their first-ever win against the Monarchs. ODU is 10-0 in the all-time series.
• Liberty's indoor matches at Crosswhite Athletic Club will be closed to the public, this spring. Attendance will be limited to teams, officials, athletic training staffs and personnel essential to hosting the event. Fans are encouraged to follow live scoring for the match and stay tuned to Liberty Men's Tennis social media accounts for live in-match updates.