May 31, 2004
WACO, Texas -
It's not often a student-athlete can claim two NCAA championships in less than a week, but Benjamin Becker did just that when he defeated Tulane's Michael Kogan in the national finals of the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championships in Tulsa, Okla., at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on Monday afternoon. Becker helped lead the Bears to the team title on May 25.
The Bears won the team title last Tuesday evening, posting a 4-0 victory over UCLA, giving Baylor its first-ever NCAA team national championship. The singles title by Becker gave the Bears their first-ever NCAA singles title as well.
Becker, a junior, ranked No. 15 and winner of 11 consecutive singles matches, defeated Kogan, a senior, in straight sets (6-4, 7-6) on a hot afternoon in Tulsa. After winning the first set, the two players broke each other's serve to knot the match at 6-6 and force a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, the two traded points and were tied at 4-4 until Kogan delivered a drop volley and Becker pushed a forehand wide to give Kogan a 6-4 edge. Becker fought off set point, Kogan then missed a forehand and a service return to give Becker a 7-6 edge. Becker then hit long and Kogan nailed a backhand volley to go up 8-7. Becker again fought off set point when Kogan missed on service return. Subsequently, Becker hit a winner to go up 9-8. After the two engaged in a long rally, Kogan sailed one long and Becker claimed his second title in less than a week.
En route to the singles championship (including NCAA Championships team dual matches), Becker defeated nine straight ranked opponents, including five top-20 players. He finished the season with a 44-9 record and is 24-6 versus ranked opponents. He is now a two-time All-American, earning honors in 2002 and 2004.
Singles Championship Results
May 31, 2004
Benjamin Becker (9-16), Baylor def. Michael Kogan (9-16), Tulane 6-4, 7-6 (8)
The NCAA Singles championship match between Becker and Kogan will be televised on The Tennis Channel on Saturday, June 5 at 6 p.m. (CST).