UCLA, USC Men Set To Face Off In Finals
OJAI, Calif. - Cross-town rivals and men's tennis powerhouses USC and UCLA are set for a Saturday finals showdown after downing four-seed CALIFORNIA and three-seed STANFORD, respectively, on day three of the Pac-12 Tennis Championships at the 112th Annual Ojai Valley Tournament in Ojai, Calif.
In the early semifinal, the top-seeded Bruins put on a dominant performance as they beat the Golden Bears, 5-0. UCLA secured the doubles point through a win by Nick Meister and Dennis Novikov over Cal's Carlos Cueto and Ben McLachlan on court two, 8-3; and got the clincher from Bruins Marcos Giron and Warren Hardie against Cal's Gregory Bayane and Andrew Scholnick, 8-5, on court three.
UCLA swept the four completed singles matches: Clay Thompson beat Nick Andrews (6-2, 6-3) on court two, Novikov defeated Bayane (6-2, 7-5) on court three, Adrien Puget downed Riki McLachlan (7-5, 6-2) on court five and Dennis Mkrtchian defeated Chase Melton (7-6, 6-3) on court six. Two matches finished simultaneously to clinch the victory for the Bruins.
In Friday's second semifinal, USC took down Stanford, 4-0. USC's top doubles pair of Steve Johnson and Roberto Quiroz came out on top against Stanford's Ryan Thacher and Denis Lin, 8-6; and Trojans Emilio Gomez and Yannick Hanfmann defeated Stanford's Robert Stineman and Matt Kandath, 8-5.
In singles, each match was decided in two sets, with all three going to a Trojan. On court one, USC's Johnson defeated Bradley Klahn (6-4, 6-3), extending his NCAA record for consecutive singles wins to 59. Johnson's last singles loss was to Klahn in February of 2011. Court three saw USC's Daniel Nguyen down Stanford's Kandath (6-3, 6-3), while USC's Hanfmann defeated Stanford's Daniel Ho (6-4, 6-4) on court five.
The top-two seeds face off in the championship match on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Libbey Park.
The Pac-12 women cranked out the first round of doubles competition in the championship and invitational draws and the second round of singles in both draws Friday morning, and then played the singles quarterfinals in both draws in the afternoon. Some notable results from the round of 16 include Stanford's Stacey Tan upsetting four-seed and defending NCAA singles champion Jana Juricova from Cal, (2-6, 6-4, 7-5); and two-seed Robin Anderson of UCLA retiring in the second set against Cal's Anett Schutting due to injury. All results for Friday's women's action can be found at www.ojaitourney.com.
On Saturday, the women will play two rounds of doubles in both draws. The championship draw doubles quarterfinals begin at 9 a.m., and the championship draw singles semifinals are at 10:30 a.m. This slate of matches will be played at Libbey Park.