Lyndsay Radnedge/
Men's Tennis

Pac-12 Title Chase Begins Thursday

STANFORD, Calif. – No. 4 Stanford, coming off its best regular season in 17 years, turns its focus to the Pac-12 Conference Championships this week in Ojai, California.
The Cardinal, which earned a top-five ranking for the 12th consecutive week in Tuesday's Oracle/ITA national poll, finished the regular-season 20-2 overall. It's Stanford's best record since completing the 2001 regular season 21-1. Stanford's 7-1 record in Pac-12 play earned the Cardinal the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, which will be held at Ojai's Libbey Park. The Cardinal will begin conference tournament play on Thursday, facing Washington at 3 p.m. PT in the quarterfinal round. Should Stanford advance, it will face the winner of Thursday's match between No. 3 seed USC and No. 6 seed Arizona State in the semifinals on Friday at 4 p.m. PT.
Friday's two semifinal matches (1 p.m. and 4 p.m. PT) and Saturday's championship match (3 p.m. PT) will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network. Scores and updates throughout the four-day tournament can be found at
Stanford has won 17 men's tennis conference championships in its history, most sharing the regular-season title with USC in 2015. Since the Pac-12 began a team conference tournament format in 2012, only UCLA or USC has won the league tournament title.
Stanford has reached the finals once in the six years of the conference's team tournament format, dropping a 4-3 decision to USC in the championship match of the 2015 tournament. Last season, the Cardinal reached the semifinals as the No. 5 seed, falling to top seed UCLA (4-0).
The Cardinal will face a familiar opponent in Washington in Thursday's quarterfinal round, having defeated the Huskies, 4-0, this past Saturday in the regular-season finale.
Several members of the Cardinal enter the conference tournament on hot streaks. Graduate student Eric Fomba has won his last six decisions, registering the clinching point in both of Stanford's wins last week against Oregon and Washington. He is 9-2 in dual play, with a 7-1 mark at the No. 4 spot in the lineup. Senior co-captain Tom Fawcett, playing all his dual matches at the No. 1 spot in the lineup, has won his last five decisions. He is 19-4 overall with a 10-3 record in dual play. Fellow senior co-captain and current Pac-12 Player of the Week, David Wilczynski, has also won his last five matches with 10 wins overall in dual competition. Freshman Axel Geller has won his last four decisions with a 16-3 record in dual play this season, playing all his matches at either the No. 1 or No. 2 spot in the lineup.
In the latest Oracle/ITA singles rankings, Fawcett is No. 9, Geller is No. 74, and junior Sameer Kumar is No. 92.  
On the doubles side, Fawcett and Geller are 15-5 overall, winners of their last three matches and No. 24 in the latest Oracle/ITA rankings. Kumar and junior Michael Genender have shot up the rankings and check in at No. 37 in the latest poll. The Cardinal No. 1 doubles team is 10-4 in dual play with wins in its last four decisions.