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Friday October 27, 2000

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Men's tennis travels to Tempe

By Lindsey Manroel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA competes in Thunderbird Invitational

The Arizona men's tennis team will compete in Sun Devil territory today at the sixth annual Thunderbird Invitational.

The tournament, held in Tempe, will feature eight UA players competing against some of the top-ranked players in the country.

Arkansas, Auburn, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Clemson, Florida Gulf Coast, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi State, UC San Diego and Arizona State will all participate.

"I'm looking forward to getting more experience and playing against some tough players," sophomore Dan Gabrys said.

Arizona's squad - which will include juniors Bruno Aropovic, Steven Capriati, Johnathon Brozyna and Brian Jackson, sophomores Tommy Lloyd and Gabrys, and freshmen Whi Kim and Carl Hagman - will compete in a 32-player singles elimination draw.

There will be a consolation bracket for only the first-round losers.

Sixteen duos will make up the doubles bracket.

UA head coach Bill Wright said that winning is not a top priority in the tournament, which will mark just the second competition for the Wildcats this season.

"We play these fall tournaments to get ready for the season," Wright said. "My goal is just to get in some good matches."

Arizona will try to improve on its No. 55 ranking from last season.

"We've all been out here every day, so I don't think we could be more ready," Gabrys said. "We're as physically fit as any team out there."

Confidence will definitely play a crucial role for Arapovic.

The junior - who took home the flight two championship match for Arizona at the USD All-College Invitational on Oct. 15 - is seeking his second championship of the season.

Although Arizona has had little tournament experience this season, Wright said that every UA player should have a good chance at winning.

"We expect to play well," Jackson said. "If we can play well, then there's no doubt in my mind that we can win the tournament,"

The invitational begins at 9 this morning and concludes Sunday, with the finals played at 10 a.m.