Bruins Edge No. 11 Kentucky, 4-3
Feb. 18, 2003
Louisville, Ky. - Playing in its first indoor match of the 2003 season Tuesday, the top-ranked UCLA men's tennis team posted a narrow 4-3 decision over No. 11 Kentucky at the Louisville Tennis Club. The Bruins, who improve to 9-0 on the year, are in town preparing for Thursday's USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
UCLA, which has yet to lose the doubles point this year, started off by winning the one point awarded for doubles play. The Bruins' top team of Rodrigo Grilli / Marcin Matkowski posted an 8-3 win at the No. 1 court and were followed by an 8-4 decision from Tobias Clemens and Lassi Ketola at the No. 2 spot. UCLA's Erfan Djahangiri / Alberto Francis were up 7-5 and serving for the match at the No. 3 position when play was suspended.
In singles action, Clemens posted one of the biggest wins of the day, knocking off fourth-ranked Jesse Witten, 7-6(2), 6-4 at the No. 1 position. Clemens is currently ranked No. 12 in the ITA Singles Rankings.
Ketola was the only other Bruin to post a straight-set victory Tuesday, registering a 6-1, 7-5 win over Matt Emery at the No. 5 spot. Djahangiri, ranked No. 38 nationally, clinched the match for UCLA at No. 4 singles where he defeated No. 91 Rahim Esmail, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Both Matkowski and Chris Lam lost for the first time in dual-match play this year. Matkowski won the first set but couldn't hang on to beat Kentucky's Karim Benmansour, falling 0-6, 6-4, 6-0. Lam fell to Alex Hume 7-6(5), 6-3 at the No. 6 spot. Grilli was the other Bruin to fall Tuesday, dropping two tiebreakers to Evan Austin, 7-6(0), 7-6(1).
UCLA will have a day off before facing San Diego State on Thursday in the first round at the Indoors. With a win, the top-seeded Bruins would face either No. 8 Duke or No. 9 Texas in Friday's second round.