Jan. 16, 2007
Bruins Begin Dual-Match Play This Week
UCLA opens up the 2007 dual-match season this Thursday, hosting UC Irvine at the Los Angeles Tennis Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Bruins own a 29-2 series advantage over the Anteaters. UCI's last win in the series came back in 1989 (5-4). Since then, UCLA has won the last 15 meetings, including a 7-0 victory in the last showdown back in 2005. Admission to all UCLA home matches is free. The Los Angeles Tennis Center is located on the campus of UCLA, right next to Pauley Pavilion and Drake Stadium.
Following the Action Via the Internet
Fans unable to attend any Bruin home match in 2007 can follow the live scoring over the internet at UCLA's website: uclabruins.com. It can be accessed by clicking on the link in the 2007 men's tennis schedule or by clicking HERE.
UCLA Sweeps Titles at Sherwood
Sophomore Haythem Abid claimed the singles title at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup this past Monday, downing USC's Dejan Cvetkovic, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. With the win, Abid gives UCLA its sixth title at Sherwood in the last seven years. He follows Luben Pampoulov (2005), Tobias Clemens (2002-04) and Jean-Julien Rojer (2001). In the all-Bruin doubles final, UCLA's Philipp Gruendler and Benjamin Kohlloeffel defeated Abid and teammate Michael Look, 8-4.
Bruins Begin the Year at No. 4
UCLA checked in at No. 4 in the Fila/ITA Team Rankings released on Jan. 9. The Bruins, who received one first-place vote, are behind top-ranked Georgia, No. 2 Baylor and No. 3 Ohio State. Illinois rounds out the top 5.
Kohlloeffel Leads Individual Rankings
Defending NCAA singles champion Benjamin Kohlloeffel is the highest-ranked Bruin to kickoff the new year, as he debuts at No. 5 in the first rankings of 2007. Chris Surapol is the only other ranked singles player, checking in at No. 27. In doubles, Mathieu Dehaine and Jeremy Drean are ranked No. 18. The tandem of Kohlloeffel and Surapol is tied for 44th.
Kohlloeffel Repeats at ITA Indoors
The biggest news in fall play came in Columbus, Ohio, where senior Benjamin Kohlloeffel successfully defended his singles title at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships hosted by Ohio State. Kohlloeffel, the tournament's top seed, defeated hometown favorite Steve Moneke of Ohio State, 6-0, 6-4. He became the third player to defend his title at Indoors and first since Sargis Sargsian of Arizona State won it back in 1994 and `95.
Look Wins So. Cal Intercollegiates
Bruin sophomore Michael Look captured his first singles title as a Bruin during the fall, as he defeated teammate Mathieu Dehaine in the finals of the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships at the Los Angeles Tennis Club. Look, who lost the first set, battled back to win the match 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Gruendler Comes Back Strong After Sitting Out Fall Play
Playing in his first college tournament since last year's NCAA Championships in May, senior Philipp Gruendler proved why he is considered one of the top doubles players in the country, as he and teammate Benjamin Kohlloeffel took home the title at last week's Sherwood Collegiate Cup. Gruendler, who elected to stay in Germany during much of UCLA's fall competition, posted a 30-3 record with Kohlloeffel in 2005-06. Had Gruendler played in the fall, he and Kohlloeffel would likely be ranked in the top 5 of the Fila/ITA Rankings, as they finished 2006 ranked No. 4 nationally.
Bruins to Make First-Ever Waco Trip
One of the highlights of UCLA's schedule in 2007 is a trip to Waco, Texas for a showdown with the Baylor Bears on Feb. 10. It will mark the first time that UCLA has ever played Baylor on its home courts. If the last two meetings between these two teams are any indication, the fans in Waco are in for a treat. UCLA edged Baylor, 4-3 in the 2005 NCAA Final, while the Bears returned the favor with a 4-3 decision of their own at the Los Angeles Tennis Center last year.
UCLA Selected for National Team Indoors
UCLA is one of 16 teams selected to play at the 2007 USTA/ITA National Team Indoors, Feb. 16-19 in Chicago. The University of Illinois is the host school of the tournament, which will take place at the Midtown Tennis Club. Joining UCLA in Chicago will be Baylor, Duke, Georgia, Illinois, Miami, Mississippi, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pennsylvania, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas and Virginia. Two more teams will be added on Jan. 21. UCLA's last title at the Indoors came back in 2001, as the Bruins defeated Stanford, 4-2 in the final. That tournament was hosted by the University of Washington.
Four Newcomers Arrive in Westwood
UCLA welcomes four new players to this season's roster, as Mike Gurman (Los Angeles), Stanislav Arsonov (Kiev, Ukraine), Andre Ranadive (Atherton, Calif.) and Sean Jackson (Los Angeles) are all freshmen in 2007. Gurman arrives as one of the top players in Southern California. Arsonov is redshirting the season and will be available for the fall of 2008.
Closing in on NCAA Title #100
With 99 NCAA team titles, the UCLA Athletic Program is on the verge of making history as the first school to reach No. 100. After a couple of close misses by the women's soccer and volleyball teams in the fall, UCLA is still looking to reach the century mark.
Head Coach Billy Martin
Head coach Billy Martin takes an overall record of 300-59 (.836) into his 14th season at the helm of the UCLA program. Martin is coming off his eighth-consecutive 20-win season, as the 2006 Bruins ended the year with a 20-6 overall record. He has never had a team finish out of the top 5 at the NCAA Championships. Martin was promoted from assistant coach to head coach following the retirement of Glenn Bassett at the conclusion of the 1993 season. Martin, a former NCAA singles champion (1975), led UCLA to the NCAA title in 2005, marking the Bruins' first championship since 1984.