Feb. 5, 2004
SEATTLE - Sixth-ranked UCLA lost the doubles point but still managed to rally for a 4-2 victory over No. 10 Kentucky Thursday in the opening round of play at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Washington. With the win, UCLA remains undefeated at 5-0 on the season and will take on No. 3 Florida in the Friday's second round.
Kentucky moved out to an early 1-0 lead in the match after claiming the doubles point with victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 courts. It marked the first time this season that the Bruins failed to claim the doubles point.
Down 1-0, the Bruins found themselves needing four singles wins to claim the dual-match victory. UCLA responded as junior Kris Kwinta quickly tied the match following his 7-6(3), 6-2 decision over Rahin Esmail at the No. 4 spot.
Next to finish was court No. 1 where 12th-ranked Tobias Clemens, who headed into the day with a 20-match win streak, defeated 16th-ranked Jesse Witten, 6-1, 6-4.
Kentucky would then tie the match at 2-2 when Alex Hume knocked off Bruin sophomore Aaron Yovan, 7-5, 6-0 at the No. 6 position.
The Bruins then posted a pair of victories to clinch the dual match, as 18th-ranked Chris Lam defeated No. 81 Evan Austin, 7-5, 7-6(2) at No. 2 singles and Philipp Gruendler beat Nate Emge, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 at the No. 5 spot.
Bruin junior Alberto Francis was up a break and serving at 5-4 in the third set when play was suspended.
UCLA and Florida will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Friday.