May 16, 2000
LOS ANGELES - The No. 2 ranked and second-seeded UCLA men's tennis team (23-3 overall) travels to Athens, Georgia this week to compete in the NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Georgia. The team portion of the competition takes place Saturday, May 20- Tuesday, May 23. Individual singles and doubles championships will run Wednesday, May 24- Sunday, May 28.
The UCLA Bruins face No. 15 seed Texas (20-6) at 11 am in the round of 16 with the winner of that match scheduled to meet the winner of the Texas A&M/Tennessee match at 11 am Sunday. If they continue to advance, the Bruins will play in the first semifinal match of the day on Monday at 12 pm. The Championship Final will be held on Tuesday at 4 pm. All of the UCLA matches will be held on UGA's Henry Feild courts.
Following team play, Bruins Jong-Min Lee and Jean-Noel Grinda will be competing in the individual singles portion of the NCAA Championships, held May 24-28. UCLA had three at-large selections in singles as Grinda, Lee and Brandon Kramer all received bids. In doubles, Kramer and Lee received an automatic doubles bid. However, Kramer was forced to withdraw from competition due to injury, making Lee and Grinda the only Bruins to compete in the Individual Championships.
Kramer to Miss NCAA Tournament
Bruin senior Brandon Kramer fractured his right wrist during practice last Wednesday and as a result will not participate in the NCAA Tournament. The injury came just three days before UCLA was scheduled to host the NCAA Regionals at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on May 13 and 14. Kramer, a right-handed senior from Reno, Nev., closes out his career at UCLA with an 88-43 overall singles record and an 84-42 overall doubles mark. This season, the 6-0 co-captain earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors and was named to the Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year with his partner, Jong-Min Lee. UCLA's No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles player, Kramer was selected to participate in both singles and doubles at the NCAA Individual Championships in Georgia, May 24-28, but will have to forgo the tournament due to his injury. He is currently ranked No. 38 in singles and No. 2 in doubles with Lee in the latest ITA Rankings. He ends the 1999-2000 season with a 23-10 overall singles record and an 18-6 mark in dual match action. In doubles, he and partner Lee won the Pac-10 Doubles Championships on Apr. 30 and went 19-6 overall and 15-6 in duals.
NCAA Championship Structure
The NCAA Division I men's tennis championships consist of single-elimination team and individual championships. In NCAA men's tennis dual matches, the three doubles matches count for one point total and are played first followed by the six singles matches. Each singles match counts for one point, with the best of three sets winning the match and a 12-point tie breaker at six games all. The team winner is determined by the first team to reach four points.
This year marks the second straight year that the NCAA Tennis Championships bracket consists of 64 teams, meaning that all participants competed in the first round. Regionals consist of four teams each at 16 sites throughout the country. The winners of those 16 Regionals advance to the NCAA Team Championships at the University of Georgia in Athens, May 20-28.
The individual championship tournament is comprised of 64-singles and 32-doubles teams which begin play directly following the conclusion of the team championship. The first round of singles and a round of doubles will be played on Wednesday, May 24. Two more rounds of singles and a round of doubles will be played on Thursday, May 25. Quarterfinal action is slated for Friday, May 26, semifinals for the 27th and the individual singles and doubles finals will be on Sunday, May 28.
UCLA's NCAA Tournament History
UCLA is the only team to compete in every NCAA Championship since 1977 when the team dual-match format began. Since then, the Bruins have reached the championship final nine times, winning three titles and finishing as runner-up five times. Altogether, the Bruins own 15 NCAA men's tennis titles dating back to 1950 and most recently in 1984 and have also finished as runner-up 12 times. In addition, UCLA players have won nine singles and 11 doubles championships. Head coach Billy Martin was the last UCLA player to claim a singles title when he won it in 1975. The team of Justin Gimelstob and Srdjan Muskatirovic claimed the Bruins' most recent title by winning the doubles championship in 1996.
Bruins Retain No. 2 Ranking
UCLA continues to hold the No. 2 slot in the latest edition of the ITA national team rankings released on May 10. In the individual rankings released on May 3, the Bruins have four singles players and two doubles teams listed. Leading the way with a No. 27 singles ranking is senior Jong-Min Lee. Senior Brandon Kramer and junior All-American Jean-Noel Grinda are listed in the Top 50 at No. 38 and No. 47, respectively. Rounding out the list of nationally ranked Bruins is freshman Jean-Julien Rojer, who comes in at No. 64. In doubles, the team of Kramer and Lee vaulted to No. 2 in the latest poll after winning the doubles final at the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai on April 30. Also ranked among the nation's top in doubles is the tandem of Grinda and Rojer, which is listed at No. 41.
Bruins are NCAA Team Runner-Ups
Armed with a No. 1 final regular-season national ranking and a top-seed entering the 1999 NCAA Team Championships, the UCLA men's tennis team was a heavy favorite to capture the program's 16th NCAA Title. At the NCAA Regionals, the host Bruins opened with a 4-0 win over Western Michigan and then went on to defeat San Diego State 4-1.
After advancing to the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., UCLA had no trouble making it to the finals, posting convincing wins over Virginia Tech (4-1), Florida (4-1) and LSU (4-1). But in the championship game, the underdog Georgia, inspired by a home crowd of over 5, 000, shocked the top-ranked Bruins 4-3 in one of the closest and most entertaining NCAA finals ever played.
Bruins' Individual Results
Four Bruins qualified to compete in the individual portion of the championships in 1999. Jean-Noel Grinda competed in both the singles and doubles draws along with his partner, Jong-Min Lee. Also competing in the doubles draw was Jason Cook and Brandon Kramer.
In singles, Grinda fell 7-6(4), 1-6, 4-6 in the first round to Florida's Nathan Overholser. In doubles, Grinda and Lee opened with a 6-3, 6-3 win over UNLV's Skorin and Zivcovic before being eliminated by eventual champions Hippensteel and Wolters. Cook and Kramer ousted Virginia's team of Montgomery and Vahaly 6-4, 6-4 before losing to USC's Gottesleben and Kukal 7-6(6), 6-3 in the second round.
2000 NCAA Championships Results
Results for the NCAA Championships can be accessed at www.ncaachampionships.com. For up-to-date information on the UCLA tennis team, log on to www.uclabruins.com.
UCLA's Home Court Advantage
UCLA finished the home portion of the 1999-2000 season with only one loss to powerhouse Pepperdine. The loss snapped the LATC's 22-match home win streak. Last year, the Bruins went undefeated at home. Prior to its loss to Pepperdine, UCLA's last loss at home came on April 18, 1998 to then-No. 1 ranked Stanford (1-6) and was its only home setback of the 1998 season.
Bruins Win Two at Home
Playing host to the NCAA Regionals on their home courts at the Los Angeles Tennis Center proved to be just what the Bruins needed as they notched victories over UMKC (4-0) and No. 32 Notre Dame (4-2). Despite playing without their No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles player, Brandon Kramer, the Bruins emerged victorious. In both matches, UCLA claimed the doubles point with wins on courts Nos. 1 and 3. All-American Jean-Noel Grinda was the only UCLA player to win both of his singles matches, playing both at the No. 2 position. Jean-Julien Rojer split his two matches in the No. 3 position, winning his match against UMKC, but losing to Notre Dame's Casey Smith 6-4, 6-4. On Saturday against UMKC, Erfan Djahangiri clinched the match for UCLA with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Yasuhito Minoda. The following day against Notre Dame, UCLA dropped singles points in the No. 3 and 6 positions. However, UCLA's Lassi Ketola beat Javier Taborga 6-1, 7-6(2), while Jong-Min Lee clinched the win for the Bruins with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over No. 9 Ryan Sachire in the top position. As in all NCAA Tournament tennis events, the remainder of the matches were suspended once the team victor was determined.
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.
Showing Their Depth
Bruins Shine In Ojai
UCLA claimed three titles in Ojai at the Pac-10 Individual Championships as the No. 2 ranked team in the nation demonstrated its depth. For the second straight year, the Bruins claimed both doubles titles and the Invitational division singles crown. The Pac-10 Championships provided a good preview of the upcoming NCAA Championships, as the two top teams in the nation, No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 UCLA dominated the tournament and continually went head-to-head. When it was all said and done, UCLA and Stanford earned a share of the Thatcher Cup after both teams recorded 12 match wins each in Ojai.
The lower half of the UCLA lineup dominated the field of the Pac-10 Invitational tournament as all four Bruin players battled in the quarterfinals. Although three Stanford players defeated three UCLA players to reach the semifinals, Bruin freshman Erfan Djahangiri came out the winner, defeating Stanford's David Martin 7-5, 7-6(5) in the semis and Stanford's Ali Ansari 6-1, 6-2 in the finals. UCLA continued to dominate the Cardinal as the freshmen duo of Lassi Ketola and Travis Rettenmaier claimed the Invitational doubles title, posting a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Stanford's Ali Ansari and Scotty Scott in the finals.
In the Pac-10 Championship portion, the Bruins showed their strength in doubles as the team of Brandon Kramer and Jong-Min Lee claimed a 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Oregon's Carter and Eisinga in the title match. The win marked Lee's second consecutive Pac-10 doubles title. Last year, he and Jean-Noel Grinda earned the title after defeating UCLA's Jason Cook and Kramer in the finals. In singles play, freshman Jean-Julien Rojer reached the semifinals before dropping a 6-4, 6-1 match to Stanford's Alex Kim.
Four Bruins Receive Pac-10 Conference Honors
In a vote by the Conference coaches, Brandon Kramer and Jong Min Lee were named Pac-10 Men's Doubles Team of the Year, the Pac-10 announced Tues., May 9. In addition, Jean-Julien Rojer was named Men's Freshman of the Year. The senior tandem of Kramer and Lee won the Pac-10 men's doubles championship at Ojai, and are the No. 2-ranked doubles team in the nation. Rojer, from Curacao, The Netherlands, is the No. 64-ranked singles player in the nation, helping the Bruin men rise to No. 2 in the national team rankings. He reached the semifinals of the Pac-10 men's singles championship and currently owns a 26-3 overall record. In addition to their Doubles Team of the Year honors, Kramer and Lee, along with junior All-American Jean-Noel Grinda, were named to the Pac-10 first team. Rojer picked up second-team honors.