March 7, 2003
LOS ANGELES - Playing in front of a large, vocal crowd and a regional TV audience, the third-ranked UCLA men's tennis team turned in one of its most impressive performances of the season Friday, shutting out defending NCAA Champion USC, 7-0 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the victory, UCLA (13-1; 1-0 Pac-10) completes its sweep over USC (7-5; 0-1 Pac-10), having already defeated the Trojans, 6-1 back on Jan. 31. Friday was the 2003 Pac-10 opener for both teams. Fans unable to attend Friday's match can tune into Fox Sports Net for the broadcast this Sunday, Mar. 9 at 3:00 p.m. (PST).
UCLA came out strong from the start, winning the doubles point for an early 1-0 advantage heading into singles play.
The featured match of the afternoon pitted eighth-ranked Tobias Clemens of UCLA against No. 36 Prakash Amritraj of USC. Clemens, who lost to Amritraj in straight sets back in January, turned his game up a notch Friday, posting a 6-4, 6-1 decision at the No. 1 singles position.
Next to Clemens on the No. 2 court, Bruin junior Marcin Matkowski was actually the first to finish, as he dropped just four games en route to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Johan Berg.
Two other Bruins that were able to register straight-set victories were Erfan Djahangiri and Lassi Ketola. Djahangiri dispatched of USC's Ruben Torres, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4 singles and Ketola was victorious over Whit Livingston, 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 6 position.
Both Rodrigo Grilli and Chris Lam were down a set in their matches, however were able to pull out victories. At No. 3 singles, Grilli defeated Daniel Langre, 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-2). Lam dropped the first set to Parker Collins at the No. 5 position, but won the next two sets 6-4, 6-1.
UCLA now leads the all-time series with USC, 58-30. The Bruins also own a 20-4 advantage since 1993. It marks the second time in as many years that UCLA has posted a shutout over the Trojans. Today's UCLA victory was crucial in terms of cutting the Trojans' lead in the race for the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy.
UCLA returns to the courts on Wednesday, Mar. 12 to host San Diego State at the Los Angeles Tennis Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Bruins have already defeated the Aztecs once this year, posting a 4-0 decision in the first round of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors.