Fruttero Advances to Final Four at Pac-10 Championships
April 25, 2003
Ojai, Calif. - After suffering through a sub-par regular season performance by his standards, senior All-American John Paul Fruttero redeemed himself this afternoon, April 25, advancing to the semifinals of the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif. The victory over Washington's #27 Matt Hanlin in the quarterfinals sets up a date with UCLA's #26 Marcin Matkowski at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Fruttero, the only unranked player still alive, is joined by #26 Matkowski, #18 Alex Vlaski of Washington and #12 David Martin of Stanford in the semifinals. In the invitational draw, both sophomore Mik Ledvonova and junior Wayne Wong also advanced, setting up an intrasquad matchup in the invitational semis.
After receiving a first round bye, Fruttero survived a three-set scare from #76 Pim Van Mele of Arizona State on Thursday, but hung on to record an upset victory, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2, and a date in the quarterfinals. His opponent, Washington's #27 Matt Hanlin defeated Stanford's James Pade to advance, but was no match for Fruttero in the quarters as the senior team captain rolled to a 6-4, 6-1 victory and a spot in the final four.
Entering the second day of competition, four Bears were still alive in the singles invitational draw, but only two lived to see another day. Ledvonova won his 16th consecutive match dating back to Feb. 1, and third of this competition, with a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Stanford's Phil Sheng. His opponent in the semifinals fittingly will be teammate Wayne Wong, who's three-set decision over #114 Lassi Ketola of UCLA earned him a spot. The two teammates will square off at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
After defeating redshirt freshman Dean Wallace in the first round, UCLA's Alberto Francis inherited the slogan 'Bear killer' as he defeated his second Cal player in as many days, ousting junior Balazs Veress from the competition. The Bears' Steve Berke withdrew from his match with UCLA's Chris Surapol, ending his Pac-10 run.
With Berke out with an injury, the Cal doubles lineup took a big hit. But the combination of Fruttero and sophomore Patrick Briaud continued its winning ways, blowing past Oregon's Sven Swinnen and Oded Tieg, 8-1, in the Round of 16. Against USC's Parker Collins and Daniel Langre, though, Fruttero and Briaud suffered an 8-5 defeat. Sophomore Conor Niland and Veress tackled Oregon's other pair of Thomas Bieri and Manuel Kost, but also suffered an 8-5 loss.
In the invitational doubles draw, Or Dekel and Robert Kowalczyk received a first round bye, only to run into Stanford's Joseph Kao and Philip Sheng in the quarterfinals. The Cal duo improved to 4-1 on the year in advancing to the semifinals with a commanding 8-3 victory over Stanford's Joseph Kao and Phil Sheng. Playing together for only the second time all season, Wong and Dean Wallace faltered in their first round matchup, losing 8-4 to Arizona's Daniel Andrus and Tim Mullane.
In the first two rounds of singles competition, the Bears record vs. Pac-10 opponents is as follows: 3-5 vs. UCLA, 0-1 vs. USC, 1-2 vs. Stanford, 1-1 vs. Washington, 3-0 vs. Oregon, 3-0 vs. Arizona and 2-0 vs. Arizona State. In doubles play, Cal is 1-1 vs. Oregon, 0-1 vs. USC, 0-1 vs. Arizona and 1-0 vs. Stanford.
Play will continue on Saturday with singles competition set to begin at 9:30 a.m., and doubles semifinal rounds at 2:00 p.m.
SINGLES: MAIN DRAWRound of 32 -- Thursday, April 24, 2003John Paul Fruttero (Cal) v. bye#40 Conor Niland (Cal) d. Chris Stewart (ASU), 6-1, 6-1Or Dekel (Cal) d. Oded Tieg (OR), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2#48 Robert Kowalczyk (Cal) d. Paul Warkentin (AZ), 6-3, 6-3Round of 16 - Thursday, April 24, 2003John Paul Fruttero d. #76 Pim Van Mele (ASU), 7-6, 2-6, 6-2Rodrigo Grilli (UCLA) d. #40 Conor Niland (Cal), 6-3, 6-3#56 Scott Lipsky (STAN) d. Or Dekel (Cal), 6-4, 6-4#12 David Martin (STAN) d. #48 Robert Kowalczyk (Cal), 3-6, 6-2, 7-5Quarterfinals - Friday, April 25, 2003John Paul Fruttero (Cal) d. #27 Matt Hanlin (UW), 6-4, 6-1Semifinals - Saturday, April 26, 2003John Paul Fruttero (Cal) v. #26 Marcin Matkowski (UCLA), 9:30 a.m.
SINGLES: INVITATIONAL DRAWRound of 32 Invitational - Thursday, April 24, 2003#110 Balazs Veress (Cal) v. byeAlberto Francis (UCLA) d. Dean Wallace (Cal), 6-1, 7-6(2)Chris Surapol (UCLA) d. Jeff King (Cal), 6-2, 6-4Steve Berke (Cal) v. byeParker Collins (USC) d. Kevin Patrick (Cal), 6-2, 6-1Mik Ledvonova (Cal) d. Chris Gessner (AZ), 6-0, 6-1Wayne Wong (Cal) d. Chris King (OR), 6-2, 6-1Peter Scharler (UW) d. Patrick Briuad (Cal), 6-3, 6-3Round of 16 Invitational - Thursday, April 24, 2003#110 Balazs Veress (Cal) d. Jason Menke (UO), 6-3, 6-2Steve Berke (Cal) d. Daniel Andrus (AZ), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2Mik Ledvonova (Cal) d. Aaron Yovan (UCLA), 6-4, 6-3Wayne Wong (Cal) d. Travis Kinard (UCLA), 6-3, 6-2Quarterfinals Invitational - Friday, April 25, 2003Alberto Francis (UCLA) d. #110 Balazs Veress (Cal), 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4Mik Ledvonova (Cal) d. Phil Sheng (STAN), 6-3, 6-2Chris Surapol (UCLA) d. Steve Berke (Cal), Wd (inj)Wayne Wong (Cal) d. #114 Lassi Ketola (UCLA), 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(5)Semifinals Invitational - Saturday, April 26, 2003Mik Ledvonova (Cal) v. Wayne Wong (Cal), 9:30 a.m.
DOUBLES: MAIN DRAWRound of 16 - Friday, April 25, 2003Briaud/Fruttero (Cal) d. Swinnen/Tieg (UO), 8-1Bieri/Kost (UO) d. Niland/Veress (Cal), 8-5Quarterfinals - Friday, April 25, 2003Collins/Langre (USC) d. Briaud/Fruttero (Cal), 8-5
DOUBLES: INVITATIONAL DRAWRound of 16 Invitational - Friday, April 25, 2003Dekel/Kowalczyk (Cal) v. byeAndrus/Mullane (AZ) d. Wallace/Wong (Cal), 8-4Quarterfinals Invitational - Friday, April 25, 2003Dekel/Kowalczyk (Cal) d. Kao/Sheng (Stan), 8-3Semifinals Invitational - Saturday, April 26, 2003Dekel/Kowalczyk (Cal) v. Ketola/Yovan (UCLA), 2:00 p.m.