March 1, 2004
Battle of Los Angeles Continues This Tuesday . . .
The No. 9 UCLA men's tennis team (9-3) heads across town this Tuesday to take on No. 13 USC (7-1) in the Pac-10 opener for both teams beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Bruins and Trojans have faced off once already this season, with UCLA taking a 4-3 victory at the Los Angeles Tennis Center back on Jan. 30. However, that match did not count in the Pac-10 standings. Tuesday's match will air on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net on Mar. 6 at 3:00 p.m. As usual, the winner will receive points towards the season-long battle for the Lexus Gauntlet Cup, a competition between the two schools.
The UCLA vs. USC Series . . .
UCLA has dominated the series with USC in recent years. In the last 10 seasons (since 1995), the Bruins and Trojans have faced off 24 times in men's tennis, with UCLA owning a lopsided 22-2 advantage. In addition, the Bruins have won eight in a row dating back to 2002. Since 1967, the Bruins and Trojans have played 90 times, with UCLA leading 60-30.
Pacific Coast Doubles This Weekend . . .
UCLA heads to La Jolla this weekend to participate in the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships. The tournament, which features juniors, professionals and many former college players, runs from Mar. 4-7.
Bruins Fall to No. 3 Baylor, 5-2 . . .
The Bruins lost their first home match of the season last Thursday, falling to third-ranked Baylor, 5-2. After dropping the doubles point, UCLA managed just two singles victories in the loss. One bright spot for the Bruins came at the top singles position, where fifth-ranked Tobias Clemens came from a set down to upset No. 1-ranked Benedikt Dorsch, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. UCLA's other singles victory on the day came at the No. 5 position, where Philipp Gruendler defeated Ivor Lovrak, 6-2, 6-1. The Bruins are now 5-1 at home this season.
Clemens Enjoying Outstanding Senior Campaign . . .
Tobias Clemens' upset of the nation's top-ranked player last Thursday was another highlight in what had already been an outstanding season for the senior from Bonn, Germany. Clemens, who recorded a 22-match winning streak from Oct. 23-Feb. 7, owns the best record on the team at 26-3 (9-2 in dual matches). That record is especially remarkable considering that, as the team's No. 1 player, he is routinely facing some of the top players in the nation. Clemens has captured three singles titles this season, winning at the ITA West Regionals, Southern California Intercollegiates and Sherwood Collegiate Cup. His title at Sherwood was his third in a row.
UCLA in the ITA Rankings . . .
The Bruins had a bit of setback when the rankings were released on Feb. 24, falling seven spots from No. 2 to No. 9. That significant drop was mostly the result of an upset loss to then-No. 47 Arizona State back on Feb. 20 in Tempe. New team rankings will be released this Tuesday. Individually, Tobias Clemens jumped up from No. 12 to No. 5 in singles. He is followed by No. 43 Alberto Francis, No. 61 Chris Lam and No. 73 Kris Kwinta. In doubles, Francis and Kwinta are ranked No. 29. Chris Surapol and Aaron Yovan check in at No. 36.
ITA Top-25 (2/24) 1. Illinois 2. Mississippi 3. Baylor 4. Florida 5. VCU 6. Stanford 7. TCU 8. Rice 9. UCLA 10. LSU 11. Texas A&M 12. Ohio State 13. USC 14. Kentucky 15. Duke 16. Harvard 17. Texas 18. Washington 19. Oklahoma State 20. Cal 21. Pepperdine 22. South Carolina 23. ASU 24. Georgia 25. Vanderbilt
Three Bruins in 20-Win Club . . .
Tobias Clemens, Kris Kwinta and Alberto Francis are three Bruins who have registered at least 20 singles victories so far this season. Clemens' 26 wins leads the team and he is 26-3 overall. Following Clemens is Kwinta, who is 23-9 overall. Rounding out the group is Francis, who checks in with a 21-6 overall record. At 19-11, Lam will join the club with his next victory.
UCLA Home Matches Live Via the Internet . . .
All UCLA home matches can be followed live at UCLA's official athletic website www.uclabruins.com. Fans can access the matches by clicking on the "Live Stats" link in the Events Calendar on the front page or by going into the men's tennis schedule. There is also a link on the men's tennis page.
Head Coach Billy Martin . . .
The 1996 ITA National Coach of the Year and UCLA's 1975 NCAA singles champion, Billy Martin, owns a 239-47 (.836) record in his 11th season as head coach at UCLA. He has led the Bruins into the NCAA Tournament in each of his 10 seasons, guiding the team to seven top-4 finishes, including trips to the finals in 1996 and '99. UCLA has also won four Pac-10 titles during his tenure. Coach Martin was inducted into the ITA Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996. To this very day he is still regarded as one of the best junior players in the history of the sport. He captured the 1973 and '74 singles titles at Junior Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and Junior Orange Bowl tournaments. Just this past year, Inside Tennis Magazine ran an article that named him "Junior Player of the Century." As a professional, Martin defeated such top players as Ken Rosewall (twice), Stan Smith, John Newcombe, Roscoe Tanner and Harold Soloman.