May 19, 2002
College Station, Texas - The fourth-seeded UCLA men's tennis team defeated 12th-seeded Auburn, 4-0 Sunday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships in College Station, Texas. With the victory, UCLA (23-4) moves on to Monday's semifinals and will take on top-seeded Georgia at 7:00 p.m. (CST). The Bulldogs were 4-1 winners over No. 8 Pepperdine on Sunday. Monday's other semifinal will feature No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 11 USC.
Similar to UCLA's 4-0 victory over Florida on Saturday, the Bruins started the day strong by claiming the doubles point. UCLA took an 8-5 victory at No. 3 doubles, followed by an 8-6 decision at the No. 1 position.
The Bruins cruised in singles play, taking the first set on all six courts. First to finish was Marcin Matkowski at No. 3 singles, as he registered a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Auburn's Tiago Ruffoni, who served the entire match underhanded due to an arm injury.
Not too long following Matkowski's victory, Erfan Djahangiri put the Bruins ahead 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Auburn's Estevam Strecker at No. 5 singles.
Bruin junior Jean-Julien Rojer ended up clinching the match for UCLA at the No. 4 position with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Auburn's Mark Kovacs.
When play was suspended, Tobias Clemens, Lassi Ketola and Rodrigo Grilli were all in control of their matches. Clemens had actually won the first set and was leading in a second set tiebreaker when the match was called.
"I'm certainly happy we won and we beat a very good team," UCLA head coach Billy Martin said. "(Auburn) looked like they might have been a little bit worn out from yesterday's match in fairness to them."
"They were better than us today," said Auburn head coach Eric Shore. "I think UCLA is the best team I've seen all year and they have an excellent chance to go all the way."
UCLA now focuses on its third SEC opponent in a row in the Georgia Bulldogs. A win on Monday and the Bruins could face Tennessee in the final on Tuesday, making it four in a row.
The Bruins are in the NCAA Semifinals for the first time since 1999.