Rodney "Rod" Mandelstam (1962-63)
Coral Gables, Fla. - There was no doubt about it. Johannesburg, South Africa native Rodney "Rod" Mandelstam knew how to play tennis long before he arrived at the University of Miami. The former South African Juniors Singles Champion became the first ever Wimbledon Juniors Singles Champion. Because NCAA rules forbid freshman to play on varsity teams, Coral Gables along with the rest of nation would have to wait until the start of the 1961-62 season to witness Mandelstam prowess on the courts.
In his first season as a Hurricane, Mandelstam went undefeated in both singles (17-0) and doubles (15-0) play. On May 4, 1962, the last match of the season, Mandelstam and the rest of the Canes traveled to Chapel Hill, N.C., to compete against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Both schools entered the match with win streaks. North Carolina with a win streak of 34 and Miami with a win streak of 105, at that time an all-time intercollegiate record. The Tar Heels were being called "The Untouchables." With Mandelstom leading the way, a 6-1, 6-1 victory over George Sokol, the Hurricanes sweep "The Untouchables" pushing their consecutive win streak to 106.
Starting his sophomore season in the No. 4 position, moving up the No. 2 position by the fifth match, and moving into the No. 1 position by the seventh match of the season, Mandelstam would not look back. In singles competition, Mandelstam would post a 17-1 record with 26 consecutive victories dating back to his sophomore season. Teaming primarily with All-American John Hammill, for the second consecutive season, Mandelstam posted a perfect 13-0 doubles record.
Building on his success from the previous two seasons, Mandelstam went 13-2 in singles play. Mandelstam, partnered primarily with Hammill for the third consecutive season, went 14-1 in doubles competition. The first and only doubles loss of his Hurricanes career came by default.
For his career, Mandelstam posted a singles record of 47-3 and a 42-1 mark in doubles competition. In addition to his success on the court, Mandelstam starred on the field as well for the Hurricanes soccer team. Not only did Mandelstam succeed on the court, he succeeded off the court as well. As a student, Mandelstam was placed on the Honor Roll. Several years after he had graduated Mandelstam return to Miami and graduated with his law degree. Due to his outstanding play, Mandelstam was selected as an All-American twice and elected into the UM Hall of Fame in 1990.
|Mike Belkin||1965||Rod Mandelstam||1962-63|
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|Eddie Dibbs||1971-72||Joaquim Rasgado||1974-75|
|John Donar||1987-90||Raz Reid||1971-72|
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