Jan. 29, 2007
Bruins Host Three Matches This Week
The fourth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (3-0) has a full schedule this week, hosting three dual matches at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins kickoff the action this Tuesday, hosting No. 49 San Diego State (2-1) beginning at 1:30 p.m. The action heats up on Friday, as No. 19 Cal (2-0) visits the LATC for a 1:30 p.m. showdown. On Saturday, one of the best rivalries in college tennis will take place, as UCLA and No. 9 Stanford (0-1) square off at 1:00 p.m.
(Note: This weekend's matches will not count in the Pac-10 standings. Only the second meeting between Pac-10 teams is the one that counts in the conference standings).
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.
UCLA has never lost to San Diego State, taking a 31-0 record into Tuesday's showdown. The Bruins are 75-10 all-time against Cal, and own a 52-46 advantage over Stanford in that series.
UCLA Perfect to Start the Year
The Bruins have had little trouble in their three non-conference matches to start the year, posting 7-0 decisions in every match. UCLA's victories have come over UC Irvine, San Diego and BYU.
New Rankings Release on Tuesday
UCLA began the season ranked No. 4 nationally 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. Individually, 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. New team rankings will be released on Jan. 30. Individual rankings are not due out again until Feb. 21.
Surapol Easing Back into Action
After playing only doubles in the Bruins' first two matches of the season, senior captain Chris got his first taste of singles play last week in UCLA's 7-0 victory over BYU. Surapol, who is recovering from an injury, looked strong in his 2007 debut, posting a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Christian Hand at No. 3 singles.
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.
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.