A pair of roommates will meet today in the final of the 101st NCAA individual tennis championship.
Playing on his home court at the University of Georgia, Mikael Pernfors defeated Jim Grabb of Stanford, 7-5, 6-4, Saturday, then watched teammate George Bezecny beat Todd Witsken of USC, 6-4, 6-4.
"I'm so happy it turned out this way," the seventh-seeded Bezecny said. "This has been such a great week. I didn't think it would come down to facing Mikael tomorrow."
The last time two teammates met in the NCAA final was in 1981, when Stanford's Tim Mayotte beat Jimmy Gurfein.
Pernfors has faced Bezecny twice before, beating him, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, in the final of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships last fall, and 6-4, 6-1 in the final of the Rider-Rolex tournament.
The top-seeded Pernfors is trying to become the first college player to win consecutive championships since Dennis Ralston of USC in 1963-64.
The third-seeded Grabb, who struggled with soreness in his thigh during much of the year, said his injury did not bother him at all Saturday. "Mikael played very well and got most of the big points," he said. "Mikael played tough all over the court."
Witsken, seeded fourth, said the Georgia crowd "was definitely a factor" in Bezecny's victory. "It makes such a big difference when you're playing in front of a football bleacher full of people pulling totally for one guy and totally against the other," he said.