May 6, 2003
LOS ANGELES - UCLA men's tennis players Tobias Clemens and Marcin Matkowski were selected co-players of the year by the Pacific-10 Conference Tuesday. They become the first UCLA players to win the award since Justin Gimelstob achieved the feat back in 1996.
Clemens, a junior from Bonn, Germany, is currently ranked No. 5 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's singles rankings. He finished the regular season with a 30-4 overall singles record, playing all of his matches at the No. 1 position, going 18-2. He has won 16 of his last 17 matches and is currently on a 10-match winning streak. He is 14-2 against ranked opponents and owns wins over No. 4 Jesse Witten (Kentucky), No. 7 Jeremy Wurtzman (Ohio St.), No. 12 David Martin (Stanford) and No. 13 Oliver Maiberger (San Diego State). Prior to the start of dual-match play, Clemens reached the quarterfinals at the ITA All-American in October and successfully defended his title at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup this past January. Although he would likely have been the top seed, he did not participate in the recent Pac-10 Championships. He was selected and will participate in the NCAA Singles Championships later this month in Athens, Ga. In addition to singles, he and partner Lassi Ketola are ranked No. 51 in the ITA doubles rankings.
Matkowski, a junior from Szczecin, Poland, currently occupies the No. 24 spot in the ITA singles rankings. He is coming off one of the most successful showings of his career, capturing the singles title at the Pac-10 Championships two weeks ago in Ojai, Calif. He did not drop a set in all five of his matches at the Pac-10s, eventually defeating Washington's Alex Vlaski, 6-4, 6-2 in the final. Matkowski owns a 23-3 overall singles record and is 14-2 in dual-match play, seeing most of his action at the No. 2 spot. He hasn't lost a singles match since the National Team Indoors back in February and is currently on a 12-match winning streak. He is 9-3 against ranked opponents this season. Back in January, he reached the finals at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup, falling to Clemens. He sat out two matches in late March while representing Poland in a Davis Cup tie in South Africa. Like Clemens, he will be one of three UCLA players participating in the NCAA Singles Championships in late May. He is currently ranked No. 24 in doubles with partner Rodrigo Grilli.
Grilli, a senior from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was named second-team All-Pac-10 after being named Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2002. He is currently ranked No. 98 in the country in singles with an 18-10 overall record. He and Matkowski form the Bruins' top doubles team and are ranked No. 24 in the nation. They are 15-4 overall, including 14-3 at the No. 1 position.
The Bruins had two other players earn All-Pac-10 accolades, as both Chris Lam and Erfan Djahangiri were named honorable mention. Lam, a sophomore from Honolulu, is ranked No. 37 in the country in singles. He joins Clemens as the only other Bruin player to register 30 victories this year, and currently stands at 32-9 overall. Lam will also be representing UCLA in singles draw at the NCAAs. Djahangiri, a senior from Pully, Switzerland, is ranked No. 88 in the nation and owns a 25-8 overall record. He is 16-4 in dual-match play. In the fall, he captured the singles title at the Omni Hotels ITA Regionals, earning a spot in the main draw at the Omni Hotels ITA National Championships in Dallas, TX.
Stanford swept all the other honors, as Dick Gould won coach of the year, KC Corkery won freshman of the year and Scott Lipsky/David Martin won doubles team of the year.
Since 1976, nine Bruin players have been named Pac-10 Player of the Year. Those players include: Peter Fleming (1976), Fritz Buehning (1979), Marcel Freeman (1982), Michael Kures (1984), Brian Garrow (1989), Justin Gimelstob (1996), Rodrigo Grilli (2002), Tobias Clemens and Marcin Matkowski (2003).
2003 ALL-PAC-10 HONORS
First Team Tobias Clemens, UCLA Matt Hanlin, Washington David Martin, Stanford Marcin Matkowski, UCLA Conor Niland, Cal Alex Vlaski, Washington
Second Team Prakash Amritraj, USC KC Corkery, Stanford Rodrigo Grilli, UCLA Manuel Kost, Oregon Robert Kowalczyk, Cal Scott Lipsky, Stanford Pim Van Mele, ASU