Robert Farah Sweeps All-Pac-10 Top Honors
May 4, 2009
USC junior Robert Farah has become the first Trojan since 1994 to be named the Pac-10 Men's Tennis Player of the Year with this year's selection, and the junior has gone one better now as a back-to-back pick as half of the Pac-10's top doubles duo. Farah and freshman Steve Johnson are this year's 2009 Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year. Both All-Pac-10 First Team selections, Farah and Johnson are joined with conference honors by All-Pac-10 Second Team selection Jaak Poldma and Honorable Mention recipient Abdullah Magdas.
It's Farah's second straight spot on the All-Pac-10 First Team, and the same repeat performance for Poldma on the Second Team. Freshman Johnson and senior Magdas are both enjoying their first career All-Pac-10 honors this season.
The Pac-10 Player of the Year, Robert Farah joins elite company as just the sixth Trojan all-time to earn the conference's top honor. Wayne Black was the last USC recipient in 1994. This season, Farah stands out as the Pac-10's highest ranked singles player, having held the No. 1 ranking for a time before injuries took the junior out of the lineup for several matches. Now, Farah ranks No. 8 in the nation and has a 26-6 overall singles record, having gone 12-3 in dual match play at the No. 1 position during the regular season. He has won at least 22 singles matches every season for the Trojans, and is now bound for both NCAA Singles and Doubles competition once again. He picked up Pac-10 Player of the Week honors along the way this season and has been a linchpin for the Trojans in their run to a No. 8 seed in the coming NCAA Team Championships.
On the doubles side of things, Farah and Johnson were a successful tandem from the start and have kept charging for the Trojans. The pair currently ranks No. 4 in the nation and holds a 29-9 overall record with a 15-5 mark in dual match play at the No. 1 position. Farah/Johnson were a perfect 4-0 in Pac-10 matches and claimed the ITA West Regional Doubles Championship in the fall. After that, the duo reached the final of the ITA National Indoor Championship in January. The two Trojans have secured an automatic bid into the NCAA Doubles Championships as one of the top-8 seeds in the coming competition in College Station, Texas. The pair is the second USC team to be named the Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year, as Farah and Kaes Van't Hof won the award in 2008 after claiming the 2008 Pac-10 Doubles Championship. That pair went on to win the 2008 NCAA Doubles Championship as well.
Steve Johnson's doubles prowess has gone hand-in-hand with a powerful freshman season in the singles realm. The Trojan freshman has stepped in strong at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions in USC dual match ladder and has accumulated a 31-11 overall singles record with an 18-5 showing in dual match play. Johnson ballooned that overall singles mark with a run to the Pac-10 Singles final two weeks ago. Along with that No. 4 national ranking in doubles with Farah, Johnson ranks No. 53 in singles.
Standing strong with his second straight All-Pac-10 Second Team selection is sophomore Jaak Poldma, who has filled in in the tough No. 1 and No. 2 singles slots much of the year for the Trojans. He holds a 15-12 overall singles record and has maintained himself as one of the toughest competitors in the conference. Poldma has also been a key contributor on the doubles end, racking up a 16-5 record playing with teammates Matt Kecki and Andrew Kells. Poldma holds a No. 81 national ranking in singles play.
USC's lone senior, Abdullah Magdas, has anchored the Trojan lineup from the No. 5 and 6 positions much of the season, getting some big wins for the Trojans along the way. Named Pac-10 Player of the Week after a singles and doubles sweep through road wins at Cal and Stanford, Magdas has compiled a 23-12 overall singles record with a 12-5 mark in dual matches. In doubles, Magdas has teamed up to great success with freshman Daniel Nguyen to the tune of a 20-8 overall mark and a 16-6 effort in dual match doubles play. Magdas/Nguyen currently rank No. 59 in the nation. In singles, Magdas ranks No. 106 overall.