April 24, 2000
The UCLA men's tennis team (21-3 overall, 6-1 Pac-10) will send individuals to compete in the Pac-10 Individual Conference Championships, held annually in Ojai, California. The tournament begins on Thursday, April 27 and concludes on Sunday, April 30. A tape-delayed show will be aired on Saturday, May 5 at 10 am on Fox Sports Net.
The Ojai Tennis Tournament
The nation's oldest amateur tournament, "the Ojai," celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The tournament was founded in 1896 by NCAA doubles champion William L. Thatcher. Past participants include Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Conners, Michael Chang and Lindsay Davenport. The heart of downtown Ojai is the site of the Pacific-10 championship matches and finals for all 38 divisions at the Ojai Tournament. Eight Pac-10 men's teams and nine women's teams will have their top individuals compete to decide the league's singles and doubles champions.
Bruins are Pac-10 Runner-Ups
Last year's Pac-10 co-Champions, UCLA closed out conference play with a 6-1 record to fall just one game shy of the title. Stanford finished Pac-10 play with a perfect 7-0 mark to capture the title for the third straight year, while USC came in at third with a 5-2 record.
The Bruins are ranked No. 2 in the latest edition of the ITA Rankings, which was released on April 19. In the latest ITA Individual Rankings which were also released on April 12, the Bruins have three players listed: No. 36 Jong-Min Lee, No. 40 Brandon Kramer and No. 87 Jean-Julien Rojer. Rojer, whose record is currently 22-1, has lost only one match this season to Stanford's Scotty Scott at the National Team Indoors in February. The doubles team of Kramer and Lee are ranked at No. 5 in the nation.
Lee Named MET-Rx Student-Athlete of the Week
Senior Jong-Min Lee (Melbourne, Australia) was selected the MET-RX UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of April 17-23. Playing in his final regular-season home match, Lee won both his matches against No. 1 and then-undefeated Stanford Saturday. In doubles, he and fellow senior Brandon Kramer upset the top-ranked doubles team in the nation, Alex Kim and Geoff Abrams, who have been listed at No. 1 in the ITA Rankings since December. Down 4-1, Kramer and Lee came back to win seven of the last eight games and post a remarkable 8-5 win in the top position. Lee served on the match point. He continued the day in winning fashion, clinching the dual match for UCLA when he upset Alex Kim, who is ranked No. 3 in the nation, 7-6(4), 6-4 on court No. 1. In Friday's win against California, Lee posted an 8-4 win in doubles with Kramer against No. 22 Erik Dmytruk and Scott Kintz. He then went on to defeat Cal's John Paul Fruttero 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in singles action.
UCLA closed out the 2000 regular-season with two impressive wins. Last Friday, the Bruins posted their sixth shutout of the season against No. 35 California. After losing the doubles point to the Bears in a Pac-10 matchup two weeks ago, the Bruins were quick to take their vengeance, sweeping doubles play to claim the first point of the match. The Bruins then went on to sweep singles play, claiming straight set victories on courts No. 2 through six. The top position was the last to finish and the only court to go to three sets. Lee, ranked No. 36 in the nation, won the first set 6-4 over Fruttero. Fruttero came back in the second set to post a 6-3 win, but Lee finally prevailed, winning the third set 6-3.
In front of a season record-high crowd, UCLA crushed top-ranked Stanford's hopes of closing with a perfect regular-season record by posting an inspiring 5-2 upset over the Cardinal last Saturday. First, the team of Jean-Noel Grinda and Jean-Julien Rojer quickly dispatched of Stanford's K.J. Hippensteel and David Martin on court No. 2, handing the nation's No. 21 ranked team an 8-0 bagel. Later, the fifth-ranked senior tandem of Lee and Kramer, who were fittingly playing in their last regular-season dual match at UCLA, upset the top-ranked doubles team in the nation, Alex Kim and Geoff Abrams, to clinch the doubles point for UCLA. In singles action, UCLA took an early 2-0 lead after Rojer sailed to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Martin on court No. 4. In another exciting match that featured two top players who returned to the lineup this year after suffering earlier season injuries, Grinda defeated Hippensteel 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 on court No. 3. With UCLA ahead 3-1, Lee went on to clinch the match with a thrilling 7-6(4), 6-4 upset over Kim, who is ranked third nationally.
The NCAA Tournament
Pairings for the 64-team NCAA Tournament will be announced on Thursday, May 4. UCLA will likely host the first and second rounds at the Los Angeles Tennis center on May 12 and 13. The final four rounds of the NCAA Championships will be held in Athens, Georgia from May 20-24.