May 28, 2006
Stanford, Calif. - Men's tennis player Benjamin Kohlloeffel is one win away from becoming UCLA's first NCAA Singles Champion in more than 30 years, as the top-seeded Bruin posted a straight-set victory Sunday in the NCAA singles semifinals at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center.
Kohlloeffel, a junior from Herne, Germany, defeated Mississippi's Erling Tveit, 6-3, 6-1 Sunday. He will face Virginia's Somdev Devvarman, who defeated Stanford's KC Corkery, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in their semifinal encounter.
"Actually, it was a bad match," said Kohlloeffel referring to his showdown with Tveit. "We both didn't play our best. I guess I was the better of the worst today. I don't know what was wrong. We both started kind of nervous and missed a lot of balls and it kept on going for the whole match. I'm just glad to have it done and have a win."
Kohlloeffel is looking to become the first UCLA player since 1975 to win a singles crown at the NCAAs. That player, current head coach Billy Martin, will be sitting alongside Kohlloeffel during tomorrow's match.
"I'm glad I didn't play my very best tennis," added Kohlloeffel. "I can come out and do that tomorrow. I need to prepare as good as I can. We're going to have fun tomorrow."
In the only prior meeting between the two players, Kohlloeffel defeated Devvarman, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Team Championships in 2005.
Monday's final is scheduled to begin at Noon.
*** Benjamin Kohlloeffel is looking to become UCLA's first NCAA Singles Champion since current head coach Billy Martin won the title as a freshman in 1975. He would be the third German to win the title in as many years, as Baylor's Benjamin Becker (2004) and Benedikt Dorsch (2005) are the last two NCAA Singles Champions.
*** He owns a 30-2 record vs. ranked opponents this season, and takes a 12-match winning streak into Monday's final.
*** He has dropped only six sets in 50 singles matches this season
*** Kohlloeffel owns a 1-0 record against Virginia's Somdev Devvarman, having defeated him 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the team championships in 2005.
*** After posting a 45-8 overall record as a sophomore in 2005 (he did not play as a freshman), Kohlloeffel takes a 91-12 career singles record into Monday's final.
*** Kohlloeffel avenged three of his four losses on the season during the NCAA Singles Championships, defeating Cal's Conor Niland (who defeated him twice) in the quarterfinals and San Diego's Pierrick Ysern in the round of 16.
Click HERE for Stanford's NCAA Tournament Website.