2009 Pac-10 Individual Tennis Championships Preview

April 20, 2009

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PACIFIC-10 INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Pac-10's seven men's teams and nine women's teams head to Ojai, Calif., Thursday, Apr. 23 through Sunday, Apr. 26 to decide the league's singles and doubles champions. The 32-player men's singles draw consists of four student-athletes from each school and four wild cards will be selected at the discretion of the draw committee. The 16-team men's doubles draw consists of two doubles teams from each school and two wild card teams will be selected by the committee. For the women, the 32-player singles draw consists of three players from each of the nine schools that sponsor women's tennis, with five additional competitors selected by a committee of coaches, based upon the participant's record. The 16-team women's doubles draw will have one doubles team from each school and seven additional teams selected by the committee, based upon the participants' record.

WHAT & WHERE: The Pac-10 Championships will be held in conjunction with the 109th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament. The Pac-10 men will compete at Libbey Park in Ojai for all rounds. The Pac-10 women will play at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club Thursday, Apr. 23 and Friday, Apr. 24. All semifinal and final matches on Saturday, Apr. 25 and Sunday, Apr. 26 are at Libbey Park. Matches begin at 8 a.m., with two rounds of singles on opening day. One round of singles and two rounds of doubles will be played on Friday. The Pac-10 men's singles final will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, followed by the women's singles final at approximately 11 a.m. The men's doubles championship will follow at 12:30 p.m., with the women's doubles championship at 2 p.m.

OJAI HISTORY: The Pac-10 Championships will again be the featured event at this year's 109th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which attracts 1,600 of the best college, junior and open players from the Western states. The annual event, started by William Thacher in 1896, has been played at the same site and interrupted only five times. If this tournament, put on entirely by volunteer efforts on public and privately owned courts, seems an unlikely place to see championship quality players, consider who has appeared here: Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Michael Chang, Rick Leach, Tracy Austin, Billy Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors and the Bryan twins. These tennis greats are among more than 85 former players at The Ojai who have gone on to win one or more Grand Slam events as professional tennis players, all of whom are listed on Libbey Park's 'Wall of Fame.'


Both the men's and women's team titles were decided in the final weekend of play. On the men's side, UCLA defeated USC, 5-2, to capture the championship for the sixth straight season. Both teams entered the match with 5-0 Conference records. The Bruins claimed the doubles point and four of the six singles points to win the match.

On the women's side, USC entered its match with UCLA having already claimed at least a share of the Championship. The Trojans defeated the Bruins, 5-2, snapping a five-match losing streak to their crosstown rivals. USC won its first-ever Conference championship and it was the first time in 21 years that a team other than Stanford won the crown outright.


Sixteen Pac-10 singles players are ranked in the ITA Top-125 national men's singles rankings (as of April 14). Six Conference teams are represented by ranked individuals, with USC junior Robert Farah topping the list at No. 4, and joined in the Top-25 by Stanford sophomore Alex Clayton at No. 20.

ARIZONA: No. 67 Jay Goldman, Fr.
CALIFORNIA: No. 58 Pedro Zerbini, So.
STANFORD: No. 20 Alex Clayton, So.; No. 52 Bradley Klahn, Fr.; No. 119 Gregory Hirshman, So.; No. 122 Richard Wire, Jr.
UCLA: No. 49 Haythem Abid, Jr.; No. 95 Matt Brooklyn, Jr.; No. 105 Nick Meister, So.; No. 116 Michael Look, Sr.
USC: No. 4 Robert Farah, Jr.; No. 63 Steve Johnson, Fr.; No. 81 Jaak Poldma, So.; No. 84 Abdullah Magdas, Sr.
WASHINGTON: No. 44 Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, So.; No. 93 Patrik Fischer, Sr.

In doubles, Pac-10 men's teams occupy nine spots among the ITA Top-90 national doubles rankings, with a ranked pair representing six different schools. USC's tandem of Robert Farah and Steve Johnson is the highest-ranked duo at No. 2.

CALIFORNIA: No. 15 Geoff Chizever, Sr./Pedro Zerbini, So.
OREGON: No. 88 Marcos Verdasco, Jr./Alexander Cornelissen, Jr.
STANFORD: No. 30 Blake Muller, Sr./Richard Wire, Jr.; No. 69 Matt Bruch, Sr./Ryan Thacher, Fr.
UCLA: No. 24 Haythem Abid, Jr./Nick Meister, So.; No. 68 Matt Brooklyn, Jr./Harel Srugo, Sr.
USC: No. 2 Robert Farah, Jr./Steve Johnson, Fr.
WASHINGTON: No. 61 Derek Drabble, Jr./Martin Kidahl, So.; No. 67 Patrik Fischer, Sr./Jeeven Nedunchezhiyan, So.


The Pac-10 women occupy 24 spots on the ITA's Top-125 singles rankings list through April 14. Of the Top-30 players in the nation, nine hail from the Pac-10. Seven Conference teams are represented by ranked individuals, with sophomore Kelcy McKenna of ARIZONA STATE receiving the highest ranking at No. 5.

ARIZONA: No. 92 Danielle Steinberg, Sr.; No. 109 Natasha Marks, Fr.; No. 111 Sarah Landsman, Fr.
ARIZONA STATE: No. 5 Kelcy McKenna, So.; No. 38 Nadia Abdala, Jr.; No. 93 Micaela Hein, So.
CALIFORNIA: No. 8 Jana Juricova, Fr.; No. 26 Bojana Bobusic, Sr.; No. 27 Marina Cossou, So.; No. 36 Mari Andersson, So.; No. 49 Claire Ilcinkas, Sr.
STANFORD: No. 9 Hilary Barte, So.; No. 82 Jessica Nguyen, Sr.; No. 89 Lindsay Burdette, Jr.
UCLA: No. 15 Yasmin Schnack, Jr.; No. 53 Andrea Remynse, So.; No. 95 Maya Johansson, So.
USC: No. 18 Maria Sanchez, So.; No. 28 Amanda Fink, Sr.; No. 34 Sarah Fansler, Jr.; No. 65 Alison Ramos, Fr.; No. 76 Gabriela Niculescu, Jr.
WASHINGTON: No. 20 Venise Chan, So.; No. 77 Denise Dy, Fr.

In doubles, Pac-10 women's teams hold 21 spots in the ITA Top-90 national doubles rankings, with eight schools represented. The UCLA tandem of Andrea Remynse and Yasmin Schnack are the highest-ranked doubles team in the Conference, landing at No. 4.

ARIZONA: No. 63 Danielle Steinberg, Sr./Sarah Landsman, Fr.; No. 75 Claire Riestch, Jr./Natasha Marks, Fr.
ARIZONA STATE: No. 12 Kelcy McKenna, So./Micaela Hein, So.; No. 37 Laila Abdala, Sr./Nadia Abdala, Jr.
CALIFORNIA: No. 5 Mari Andersson, So./Jana Juricova, Fr.; No. 22 Claire Ilcinkas, Sr./Marina Cossou, So.; No. 51 Bojana Bobusic, Sr./Jana Juricova, Fr.
OREGON: No. 70 Ana Cecilia Olivos, Sr./Pavlina Smatova, So.
STANFORD: No. 10 Lindsay Burdette, Jr./Hilary Barte, So.; No. 46 Carolyn McVeigh, So./Jessica Nguyen, Sr.
UCLA: No. 4 Andrea Remynse, So./Yasmin Schnack, Jr.; No. 38 Ashley Joelson, Sr./Yasmin Schnack, Jr.; No. 56 Stephanie Wetmore, Jr./Carling Seguso, Fr.; No. 60 Nina Pantic, Fr./Yasmin Schnack, Jr.
USC: No. 11 Amanda Fink, Sr./Gabriela Niculescu, Jr.; No. 27 Gabriela Niculescu, Jr./Maria Sanchez, So.; No. 65 Sarah Fansler, Jr./Lyndsay Kinstler, So.; No. 86 Maria Sanchez, So./Alison Ramos, Fr.
WASHINGTON: No. 36 Denise Dy, Fr./Joyce Ardies, Jr.; No. 68 Venise Chan, So./Denise Dy, Fr.; No. 78 Aleksandra Malovic, Jr./Venise Chan, So.

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