May 23, 2002
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Tulane University's doubles combo of sophomore Michael Kogan (Kfar-Saba, Israel) and junior Victor Romero (Atizapan, Mexico) defeated the No. 1 team in the country in the opening round of the NCAA Men's Tennis Doubles Championships on Thursday at the Texas A&M Tennis Center.
Kogan and Romero, ranked No. 19 in the nation, will battle Andrew Colombo and Mark Kovacs from Auburn at 2 p.m. on Friday in the round of 16. Colombo from Rochester, N.Y., is a 6-6 big man with a booming serve, while Kovacs, from Melbourne, Australia, is a crafty left-hander. The Tiger pair is ranked No. 27 in the country. They upset 23rd-ranked David Mercier and Nicholas Yip from Utah on Thursday.
Kogan and Romero jumped out to an early 4-1 first-set lead against Marcin Matkowski and Jean-Julien Rojer from UCLA, however, the potent Bruin pair recovered to snag the opening set in a tiebreaker, 7-6.
The Wave kept its composure and rallied in the second set for a 6-3 win and then closed it out in the final set with an impressive 6-4 triumph.
"We played a very good first set, but we couldn't put it away," Green Wave coach Robert Klein said. "It was important to get a good start in the second set, once we did, we were able to finish it off. The biggest point came when we were up 4-3 in the third, down love-40 on Kogan's serve. We fought off five break points to win the game. Then they [UCLA] held serve to make it 5-4, but Victor hit three aces and a service winner, sandwiched around a double fault, to win the match."
Kogan and Romero improve to 25-3 on the year, while the UCLA tandem closes its season at 36-10. Tulane's pair have now won nine straight matches.
Colombo and Kovacs have a 25-9 record in doubles this year.
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