Feb. 22, 2003
Louisville, Ky. - The top-seeded UCLA men's tennis team fell to No. 6 Florida, 4-1 Saturday in the semifinals at the 2003 USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships at the Louisville Tennis Club. With the loss, UCLA falls to 11-1 on the season. Florida improves to 9-1 and will face No. 2 Illinois in tomorrow's final.
For the first time this season UCLA lost the one point awarded for doubles play, as the Gators took victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 courts. The No. 1 doubles position was suspended.
In singles action, Florida jumped out to a 2-0 lead when 78th-ranked Eleazar Magallan defeated UCLA's Alberto Francis, 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 6 court. Next to finish was court No. 5, where 117th-ranked Matt Behrmann of Florida posted a 6-4, 7-5 decision over Bruin senior Lassi Ketola.
UCLA senior Rodrigo Grilli was able to cut the lead to 3-1 with his 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Troy Hahn at No. 3 singles. At that point, all three remaining matches were in a third set.
Florida clinched the dual-match at the No. 2 position, where 29th-ranked Janne Holmia knocked off Marcin Matkowski, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Florida's victory over UCLA means that this year's champion will be the first other than UCLA or Stanford since 1989. It also means that this year's champ will be the first from outside the state of California since 1983.