Feb. 15, 2007
At The USTA/ITA National Team Indoors
The sixth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (5-1) heads to Chicago, Ill. this week for one of the toughest competitions of the season, as the Bruins will take part in the 16-team USTA/ITA National Team Indoors at the Midtown Tennis Club. The Bruins, seeded third, will meet 14th-seeded Miami (4-1) in the first round on Friday at 6:30 p.m. (CST). The winner of that match will meet either sixth-seeded Illinois of 11th-seeded Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Defending champion Georgia is the top-seeded team, followed by No. 2 Ohio State, UCLA and No. 4 Virginia.
Live Internet Scoring
Live internet scoring for all the matches at this week's USTA/ITA National Team Indoors can be accessed at the ITA's website: www.itatennis.com
UCLA vs. Miami Series History
UCLA has never lost to Miami, taking a perfect 9-0 record into Friday's showdown. The last meeting between the two teams was at the Los Angeles Tennis Center back in 1993. The Bruins took a 9-0 victory over the Hurricanes in that match.
Last Year at the Indoors
UCLA was seeded seventh at last year's Team Indoors, opening up the tournament with a 4-2 victory over No. 10 LSU. The Bruins then dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to second-seeded Georgia, which went on to win the event.
UCLA's History at the Indoors
UCLA's last title at the Indoors came back in 2001, as the Bruins defeated Stanford, 4-2 in the final at the University of Washington. UCLA ranks second only to Stanford in three major categories at the Indoors: titles (7), final appearances (10) and victories (64). Current head coach Billy Martin has captured four of the Bruins' seven titles, guiding teams to victory in 1996, `97, `99 and 2001.
Bruins Drop First Match of the Season 4-3 at No. 8 Baylor
UCLA traveled to Waco, Texas last week for the first time in school history, taking on No. 8 Baylor at the Baylor Tennis Center. The Bruins and Bears have produced one of the best non-conference rivalries in college tennis recently, meeting in the NCAA Final in back-to-back years (2004 & 2005). In addition, Baylor's trip to the Los Angeles Tennis Center in 2006 was an exciting 4-3 Baylor win. Last Saturday's match lived up to the hype, as it was another 4-3 decision. Unfortunately for the Bruins, however, it was another Bear victory. After winning the doubles point, Baylor went on to post three wins in singles play to clinch the win. With the match tied at 3-3, all eyes turned to court No. 4, where Matija Zgaga outlasted Bruin junior Mathieu Dehaine, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4.
UCLA Checks in at No. 6
After falling to Baylor last week, the Bruins moved from No. 3 to No. 6 in the latest Fila/ITA Rankings released on Tuesday. New team rankings are released every week. Individually, Benjamin Kohlloeffel is the highest-ranked UCLA player at No. 5. Chris Surapol is the other ranked Bruin at No. 27. In doubles, Mathieu Dehaine and Jeremy Drean are ranked 18th. For the first time in more than a month, new individual rankings will be released next week.
Surapol's Streak Reaches 17
Senior captain Chris Surapol takes a 17-match winning streak in dual-match play into this week's USTA/ITA National Team Indoors. Surapol's last singles loss in a dual match was actually at last year's Team Indoors when he fell to Georgia's Strahinja Bobusic, 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 (his only dual-match loss of the year). After that defeat, he reeled off 13-straight wins to end the season with an impressive 20-1 record in dual-match play. Surapol is 4-0 in duals this year.
Abid Finds His Rhythm
Chris Surapol isn't the only Bruin taking a winning streak into this week's event, as sophomore Haythem Abid has won his last 11 singles matches. Abid, who joined the team last January and was essentially thrown into the fire just days after arriving in Westwood, is finally coming into his own. He won five-straight matches to capture the Sherwood Collegiate Cup in early January, and is 6-0 in dual-match play.
Gruendler/Kohlloeffel Dominate at the Top Spot
Head coach Billy Martin knows that he has one of the top teams in the nation heading up his doubles play this season, as Philipp Gruendler and Benjamin Kohlloeffel are as good as they come in college tennis. Need proof? The duo went 30-3 last season (22-1 in dual matches at the top spot) and finished the year ranked No. 4 nationally. The 2006 Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year is on fire again this season, owning a perfect 9-0 record. They would be ranked, however Gruendler did not compete in the fall.
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.