April 5, 2002
Los Angeles - Despite playing without three of its top players, the No. 2-ranked UCLA men's tennis team battled down to the final point Friday, dropping a tight, 4-3 decision to No. 22 Cal at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the loss, UCLA falls to 16-2 overall while the Golden Bears improve to 14-3. Friday's match did not count in the Pac-10 standings.
The Bruins started the day strong, winning two of three doubles matches to claim the one point awarded for doubles play. At No. 1 doubles, Lassi Ketola and Marcin Matkowski cruised past Cal's Ben Miles/Balazs Veress, 8-1. UCLA's Tobias Clemens and Erfan Djahangiri also turned in an impressive performance, defeating Cal's John Paul Fruttero/Robert Kowalczyk, 8-4. The No. 3 doubles position was suspended once the point was decided.
In singles play, UCLA's Matkowski and Ketola each notched wins on court Nos. 2 and 4 respectively, but it wasn't enough as Cal battled back to take four of six singles matches to claim the 4-3 victory. With the match tied at 3-3, Fruttero clinched the dual match for Cal at the No. 1 position where he defeated UCLA's Clemens, 7-6, 6-4.
The Bruins were without the services of Jean-Julien Rojer, Rodrigo Grilli and Alberto Francis on Friday. Rojer is in Guatemala playing Davis Cup for the Netherlands-Antilles, while Grilli is sidelined with an injury. Francis, who is one of UCLA's top players but has been sidelined much of the season with an injury of his own, went home to Texas to be with his father who had emergency heart surgery earlier in the week.
The weekend doesn't get much easier for UCLA as the Bruins return to the court tomorrow to host No. 6 Stanford at the Los Angeles Tennis Center beginning at Noon.