March 13, 2000
The UCLA men's tennis team (13-2 overall, 5-0 Pac-10) will host No. 3 Duke (8-1) on Tuesday, March 14 at 1:30 pm at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
About the Opponent
The Duke Blue Devils, guided by ten-year head coach Jay Lapidus, are currently 8-1 overall and 1-0 in the ACC. They currently have four singles players and one doubles team listed in the ITA Rankings. Leading the Blue Devils is No. 21 Ramsey Smith, who currently holds an 8-1 dual match record. Senior Doug Root is ranked No. 37, junior Andres Pedroso is ranked No. 43 and junior Marko Cerenko is slated at No. 71. The tandem of Root and Smith are ranked third nationally.
Last year, Duke placed first in the ACC and finished the regular-season with a No. 2 national ranking. In the post-season, the Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA round of eight, where they fell 4-3 to LSU, closing the '99 season with a 25-5 overall record.
Tuesday's match between UCLA and Duke marks the second time both schools have met this season. On February 26, UCLA upset Duke 5-2 in the semifinals of the National Team Indoor Championships and advanced to the finals before falling 4-3 to Stanford. All-time, UCLA leads the series against Duke 7-1.
Bruins Stay at No. 2 Nationally
After advancing to the finals of the National Indoor Championships, UCLA earned a No. 2 national ranking and has since retained its spot at No. 2 in the latest ITA National Rankings, which were released on Wednesday, March 8. In the latest ITA Individual Rankings which were also released on March 1, the Bruins have three singles players and one doubles team listed. Leading the way is senior co-captain Brandon Kramer, who is ranked No. 53. Newcomer Jean-Julien Rojer is listed No. 70 and senior Jong-Min Lee is listed No. 73. In doubles, the Kramer/Lee duo is ranked No. 23. UCLA's players should be expected to improve in the March 15 Individual Rankings, as they posted numerous upsets against nationally ranked players at the National Indoors from Feb. 24-27.
Jean-Noel Grinda Returns to Singles Lineup
UCLA's top singles player, All-American Jean-Noel Grinda returned to the singles lineup last week after having sat out all but one match this season due to shoulder and back injuries. In his first return to the singles lineup since falling to Pepperdine's Sebastien Graeff on February 1, Grinda cruised past Arizona State's Andrew Golub 6-4, 6-2 in the No. 3 position. The following day, the 6-3 co-captain from Nice, France posted another straight set victory when he handed Arizona's Tom Lloyd a 7-5, 6-2 loss on court No. 3.
UCLA Sweeps Arizona Schools
After blanking both Arizona and Arizona State at home earlier this season, the Bruins continued their regular-season sweep against the Arizona schools last week when they defeated both teams by identical scores of 6-1.
After almost four intense hours of play, the UCLA Bruins defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils 6-1 Friday at Robson Player Facility. In singles action, UCLA gained wins from Jong-Min Lee, Jean-Noel Grinda, Lassi Ketola, Erfan Djahangiri and Chris Sands. The Sun Devils' lone point for the match came in the No. 2 position where senior Ed Carter defeated senior Brandon Kramer 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3. In doubles action, the Bruins swept all three matches 8-3, 8-4, 8-6, respectively.
The following day, UCLA cruised past Arizona 6-1. Arizona's only point came in the singles match where sophomore Caleb Marquardt defeated UCLA's Lassi Ketola at the No.5 spot. In the top position, junior Alex Aybar fell to UCLA's Jong-Min Lee 7-5, 7-6 (3). Also recording wins for the Bruins were Brandon Kramer, Jean-Noel Grinda, Jean-Julien Rojer and Erfan Djahangiri. The Bruins swept the double matches. UCLA's Jong-Min Lee and Brandon Kramer defeated Tom Lloyd and Alex Brown at the No.1 spot.
The Bruins will have next week off to prepare for a showdown against USC on Friday, March 31 at 1:30 pm on the USC campus. UCLA defeated USC 5-2 at home earlier this season and will be looking to sweep regular-season play against the No. 19 Trojans.