January 29, 2023

The 16th-ranked UCLA women’s tennis team this week opens the doubles game portion of its 2022-23 season on both coasts, beginning Wednesday at home against Loyola Marymount and ending on the Miami (Fla.) campus for the ITA Kickoff weekend. The midweek Bruins and Lions clash from the Los Angeles Tennis Center begins at 1:30 p.m. PT. UCLA then makes its way to Coral Gables, Fla., where it is scheduled to meet No. 22 Iowa State at 11 a.m. PT on Saturday. A matchup with No. 11 Miami (Fla.) or FIU follows Sunday.

FOLLOW LIVE
Fans who can’t attend UCLA women’s home games in person can still watch them live. Live streaming and live scoring are available for all games being played HERE at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Live scores from the Neil Schiff Tennis Center will be available HERE during ITA Kickoff weekend.

LAST TIME-OUT
UCLA played its final competitions before the start of the dual-match season at the 20th Freeman Memorial Championships January 13-15 at UNLV’s campus. Fielding alongside the Bruins and Host Rebels were No. 8 Stanford, No. 10 Pepperdine, No. 13 Oklahoma State and No. 18 Florida. Elise Wagel had the standout performance for UCLA, winning their singles draw. Anne-Christine Lütkemeyer, Vanessa Ong and Sasha Vagramov in the consolation game both prevailed.

UCLA VS. …
UCLA has an all-time record of 26-1 against Loyola Marymount. LMU picked up their lone win in the Bruins’ doubles game opener in 2022. UCLA rallied the double without a loss, but the Lions responded with victory in each of the first four singles competitions completed. The Bruins picked up two singles wins after the decision, making the final score 4-3. UCLA is 12-4 against Miami (Fla.). The programs most recently met at the 2015 ITA Indoors event in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the Bruins defeated the Hurricanes 4-0. UCLA has never released a score against Iowa State or FIU.

AUTUMN REVIEW
Bruins performed at six events during the fall, including two national ones. There have been two championship performances since Kimmi Hance and Elise Wagel teamed to win the ITA Southwest Regional Championships doubles title in San Diego while the combination of Vanessa Ong and Sasha Vagramov won the Dennis Rizza Classic grand prize at Rolling Hills Estates, California. Anne-Christine Lütkemeyer, who was the top individual player at the Women of Troy Invitational, amassed 11 team-high individual wins. hance, Ava catanzarite and Fangran Tian each beat three nationally ranked opponents. Hance also reached the finals in singles at the ITA Southwest Regionals.

IN THE RANKINGS
UCLA ranks #16 in the ITA Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll released Jan. 18. The latest singles ranking was released on November 16, 2022 and features four Bruins at career-best positions. leading is Ava catanzaritewho debuted at number 42, with Kimmi Hance right behind her at number 46. Freshmen Fangran Tian (94) and Anne-Christine Lütkemeyer (120) performed for the first time in their career. The tandem of Hance and Elise Wagel moved up to No. 11 on the doubles list after winning the ITA Southwest Regional Championships top prize.

2021-22 IN REVIEW
The 2021-22 UCLA women’s tennis team went 13-7 and finished second in the Pac-12 with a 7-1 record. The Bruins got past Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Championship but were outlasted by host Oklahoma State in a 4-2 decision in the second round. Elysia Bolton and Forbes Abbey qualified for the NCAA singles draw while the duo of Bolton and Elise Wagel tied the doubles. Bolton reached the second round in singles. Forbes (first team), Bolton (second team) and Kimmi Hance (Honorable Mention) received All-Conference honors from the Pac-12. Forbes also received the Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award from the ITA Southwest Region.

WHO’S NEW?

Anne-Christine Lütkemeyer and Fangran Tian make up UCLA’s freshman class. Lutkemeyer (Irvine, California), a blue-chip recruit according to TennisRecruiting.net, was #1 in her Class 2 event in 2020 and 2021. At the junior level, Lutkemeyer took the 16-year-old girls’ singles crown at the 2018 USTA International Spring Championships in Carson, California. Tian (Beijing, China) won the girls’ singles title at the 2019 Australian Open Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-Off events, and earned a wildcard entry at the 2020 Australian Open Junior Championships. She also earned a place at the Earned the 2019 Roland-Garros Junior Championships Individual Draw.

MARSHALL JOINS COACHING STAFF
Honorary Assistant Coach Rodney Marshall, an acclaimed performance coach to many of the world’s top professional tennis players, is the new head coach Stella Sampras WebsterEmployees from 2022-23. Marshall joined the Bruins after spending the last five years in Orlando, Florida working with American standouts Madison Keys, Caty McNally and Alison Riske-Armitraj. He has overseen strength and conditioning, nutrition and injury prevention for Keys, who ended 2022 with a WTA individual ranking of 11th. From 2009 to 2018, Marshall served as the senior national strength and conditioning coach for USTA Player Development, leading strength and conditioning efforts for top American players from the National Training Centers in Orlando and Carson, California. He also assisted with nutrition, sports medicine and injury prevention. Marshall’s time with USTA also provided him with the opportunity to lead strength and conditioning programs for several US Davis Cup teams under captains Patrick McEnroe and Jim Courier. He has also helped develop numerous US top 100 women including but not limited to Claire Liu, Christina McHale and Sloane Stephens.

BRUINS ON TOUR
Ena Shibahara won her first Grand Slam championship in 2022 and shared the mixed doubles title at Roland-Garros with Wesley Koolhof. She also reached her first semifinal round in women’s doubles last year alongside Shuko Aoayama. Shibahara climbed to a career-high No. 4 position in the WTA doubles rankings in March 2022. Catherine Harrison also had a stellar 2022, making her Grand Slam debut in singles and doubles. She progressed through the individual qualification at Wimbledon and continued her success with a first round win. Harrison and partner Ulrikke Eikeri competed in doubles in the second round at Roland-Garros and the pair accomplished the same feat at Wimbledon and the US Open. Harrison also collected her first WTA title last year when she teamed with Sabrina Santamaria to prevail at the Monterrey Open in Mexico. The following Bruins in the pro ranks achieved career-high WTA singles finishes in 2022: Harrison (No. 69), Robin Anderson (137), Elysia Bolton (230) and Chanelle van Nguyen (350).

HEAD COACH STELLA SAMPRAS WEBSTER
head coach Stella Sampras Webster is in her 27th season at the top of the UCLA women’s tennis program and has an impressive overall record of 488-178 (.733). She is the second-longest serving coach at UCLA, behind Billy Martin, the head coach of men’s tennis. Sampras Webster led her alma mater to NCAA championships in 2008 and 2014, the first two in program history. Their teams have finished in the top 10 and 15 times in the top 5 nationally in 21 of their 25 completed seasons. Three doubles pairs have won NCAA titles under Sampras Webster’s tutelage, most recently Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield in 2019.

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