April 19, 2003
LOS ANGELES - The third-ranked UCLA men's tennis team picked up its 20th victory of the season Saturday, overpowering No. 4 Cal, 6-1 in the regular-season finale for both teams at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins now head to NCAAs with a 20-3 overall record, finishing second in the Pac-10 with a 6-1 mark. Cal rounds out the year 18-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play. Stanford wins the Pac-10 outright after defeating USC, 7-0 Saturday.
The day started with both teams battling for the one point awarded for doubles play. The Bruins took the first match at court No. 3, however Cal quickly answered back with a victory at the No. 2 position. The point was decided at the No. 1 court, where 22nd ranked Rodrigo Grilli and Marcin Matkowski of UCLA edged Cal's Patrick Briaud/John Paul Fruttero, 9-8(5).
The Bruins carried their momentum from doubles into singles play, taking the first set on all six courts. First to finish was court No. 3, where Grilli defeated Cal's Or Dekel, 6-3, 7-5 for a 2-0 UCLA advantage. UCLA would go ahead 3-0 when Erfan Djahangiri posted a 6-2, 6-4 decision over Balazs Veress at the No. 5 spot.
The dual match was clinched at the No. 1 position, as fifth-ranked Tobias Clemens defeated Fruttero, 6-3, 6-2, putting the Bruins ahead, 4-0. Clemens is now 30-4 on the season and 18-2 in dual-match play. He is also on a 10-match winning streak.
With the dual already decided, three matches remained on court. Matkowski finished off Cal's Conor Niland, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 at the No. 2 position and within seconds, the Golden Bears picked up their only point of the day at court No. 4, where Robert Kowalczyk knocked off Bruin sophomore Chris Lam, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
In the final match of the afternoon, Bruin senior Lassi Ketola went the distance with Cal's Wayne Wong, winning 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(4).
UCLA now focuses its attention on the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif., April 25-28. Following Ojai, the Bruins will find out if they are selected to host the NCAA Regionals, May 10-11 at the LATC. The 16-team NCAA Championships will be held in Athens, Ga., May 15-23.