Naoki Takeda, Lauren Marker earn preseason tennis rankings

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Courtesy of Arizona Athletics

As the fall tennis season approaches, Arizona fans should take notice of the newly released rankings that feature two players from both the men’s and women’s teams in the top 50 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason singles polls.

Junior Lauren Marker will enter the season ranked No. 43, her highest career ranking. Head coach Vicky Maes took notice of the high rank and said she thinks she can break into the top rankings.

“It’s good to see her start at 43 this year, but I know she will do everything in her power to improve on that throughout the season,” Maes said in a press release.

The ranking comes after a fantastic season where Marker finished with a 23-10 record, which included an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and a trip to the NCAA Individual Championship. Marker is no stranger to the polls as she has been ranked in the last 16 polls since her freshman year. She’ll be looking to move up in the polls when the Wildcat Invitational rolls around in early October.

On the men’s side, Naoki Takeda will enter the year at No. 37, the highest he has ever started a season. His previous high was last season when he was No. 29 in the country, the highest ranking of a Wildcat since 1994.

Takeda concluded last season with a 23-5 record and will start this season by participating in the 2015 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla.

The senior has impressed his whole career and men’s head coach Tad Berkowitz believes this fall will be no different.

“Naoki has worked very hard to get to where he’s at,” Berkowitz said in a press release. “This semester, he is continuing to push himself on and off the courts and I am excited to watch him compete for the Wildcats this year.”

The Wildcats’ number one player will look to finish his Arizona career with a strong senior year.


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