Feb. 27, 2002
Los Angeles - In a match much closer than the final score indicated, the No. 5 UCLA men's tennis team defeated No. 9 Pepperdine, 5-2 Wednesday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the victory, UCLA improves to 12-1 on the year, while Pepperdine, which had its five-match winning streak snapped Wednesday, falls to 9-3.
Pepperdine actually owned a 1-0 lead over the Bruins after winning the one point awarded for doubles play. The Waves took victories on the top two doubles courts, while the Bruins were able to notch a victory at the No. 3 spot.
Heading into singles play, the Bruins needed to win four of the six matches to earn the dual-match victory. UCLA's Erfan Djahangiri quickly tied the score at one apiece, registering a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Pepperdine's Johan Berg at No. 5 singles. Next to finish was court No. 1, where No. 9 ranked Tobias Clemens of UCLA pulled the upset over No. 5 Al Garland of Pepperdine, 6-1, 7-6. Clemens has now won 19 of his last 20 matches.
Shortly thereafter, Bruin junior Rodrigo Grilli gave UCLA a 3-1 advantage after posting a 6-4, 7-6 win over Calle Hansen in the No. 3 spot. Pepperdine, however, would answer following a 7-6, 7-5 victory by Diego Acuna at the No. 6 position.
With a slim 3-2 lead, the Bruins needed to win at least one of the remaining two matches to secure the dual-match victory. UCLA clinched the match at No. 2 singles, where Marcin Matkowski came back from a set down to defeat Pepperdine's Stefan Suter, 5-7, 7-6, 6-3. With the match already decided, Bruin junior Jean-Julien Rojer finished off Sebastien Graeff, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 in the No. 4 position, giving UCLA the 5-2 victory.
The Bruins will be competing in the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships this weekend in San Diego before returning to Los Angeles for a match with No. 4 USC one week from today. The Bruins and Trojans have already played twice this year. UCLA beat USC, 7-0 back on Feb. 1 at the LATC, while the Trojans edged the Bruins, 4-1 at the National Team Indoors on Feb. 8. Next Wednesday's match will be played at the Marks Tennis Stadium on the campus of USC.