Pepperdine Men's Tennis History

The Pepperdine men’s tennis program has been a dominating entity in the West Coast Conference, and reached the pinnacle of its sport by capturing the 2006 NCAA championship.

The Waves rolled to 20* consecutive WCC Tournament titles between 1991 and 2010 and 43* overall since 1958, while none of their competitors have won more than four league crowns. All-time, the program has won more than 74 percent of its matches, posting a 1,144-405* record since statistics were first kept in 1958.

2013 WCC Champions

Pepperdine’s distinguished tennis history began in the 1940s, and the Waves found early success when the program won the 1952 NAIA Championships. After the program was elevated to NCAA Division I status in 1966, Pepperdine’s national prominence began. Under the tutelage of Allen Fox, the Waves became a household name in collegiate tennis in the 1980s. In 1982, Fox led Pepperdine to its first NCAA championship match. Four years later, Fox again led Pepperdine to the title match.

The third time was the charm for the Waves in 2006. Under head coach Adam Steinberg, the Waves reached the NCAA final and broke through for its first national championship in men’s tennis with a 4-2 victory over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Georgia in Palo Alto, Calif.

2006 NCAA Champions

The Waves have made 38* appearances at the NCAA Championships since 1974, and have only been absent from the tournament on five occasions.

The Waves have had success in the NCAA singles and doubles tournament as well. Robbie Weiss won the singles title in 1988 while Kelly Jones was part of both of Pepperdine’s NCAA doubles titles (1984 with Jerome Jones and 1985 with Carlos DiLaura).

Since 1945, the Waves have had 83 All-American selections. Since 1998, when the award was created, a Pepperdine student-athlete has been named the WCC’s Player of the Year in 16 of those 19 seasons.

Alex Sarkissian

Over the years, the school has produced many remarkably talented players who have moved on to professional careers as players and coaches.

Brad Gilbert is one of Pepperdine’s most famous tennis products. A 1982 All-American who reached the NCAA singles final, he won 20 major tournaments as a professional and was ranked as high as #4 in the world in 1990. He won a silver medal at the 1998 Olympics in singles play. As a coach, Gilbert is known as one of the best, guiding both Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick to Grand Slam titles.

Brad Gilbert

A three-time All-American, Glenn Michibata spent 10 years playing as a professional and climbed as high as No. 48 in 1986. He then served as head men’s tennis coach at Princeton for 12 years before resigning after the 2012 season.

Robbie Weiss

After his playing days, Weiss turned pro and was a top 100 player. Kelly Jones achieved the world’s #1 ranking in doubles with Rick Leach in 1992 and was a finalist in three Grand Slam doubles events.

Kelly Jones

Four-time All-American Simon Aspelin played professionally from 1998 until his retirement in 2011. He won 12 career titles in doubles, including the 2007 U.S. Open, and finished his career with a 348-303. He captured a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics for his native Sweden.

Robert Lindstedt, who played for the Waves during the 1998 season, reached the doubles final at Wimbledon for three consecutive years from 2010-2012 and was crowned a Grand Slam champion at the 2014 Australian Open. He represented his home country of Sweden in the 2012 Olympics in London, where he reached the second round of the men’s doubles tournament. He has ranked as high as #3 (2013) in the ATP doubles rankings.

In addition to Gilbert, Aspelin and Lindstedt, other Pepperdine tennis Olympians include DiLaura (Peru/1984), Martin Laurendeau (Canada/1988), Kelly Jones (USA/1984), Michibata (Canada/1988), Agustin Moreno (Mexico/1988) and Andrew Sznajder (Canada/1992).

* see record book for more details

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