NCAA Tournament Tuesdays: 1998 Men's Tennis
1998 Men’s Tennis
In August of 1997, Athletic Director Paul Dee announced the hiring of Jay Berger as Miami’s new men’s tennis head coach.
Berger came to Miami off of two seasons with the United States Tennis Association (UTSA) as the national head coach, where he worked primarily with junior and collegiate players.
Berger’s first season proved to be an exciting one. The Hurricanes climbed from the mid-50s in rankings to the low-30s, ending the season with a 16-9 record and a No. 31 ranking. During the season, the 1998 Canes claimed the BIG EAST Championship for the 2nd year in a row and the 5th time overall, earning them a No. 2 seed at the NCAA Tournament.
In the NCAA Tournament, the Hurricanes were allotted a first round bye. Miami faced Virginia Tech in the second round, where their promising season was put to an end. The Hokies defeated the Canes 4-0 in a heartbreaking loss.
Despite the disappointing end to the season, leaders emerged from the Hurricane line up. Freshman Johan Lindqvist stepped up and led the team with 22 singles wins and was named the team’s Co-MVP. Fernando Borja finished out the season with 18 singles wins and 16 doubles wins. And Rudy Rake completed the season with both 17 singles and doubles wins. Factoring in the fresh perspective and guidance from Berger combined with the raw talent of the team, it is no wonder the 1998 Hurricanes reached such great heights during the season.
|Jay Berger was an All- American at Clemson University with a 91-22 singles record. After the 1986 season, Berger joined the professional ranks. Highlights of his career include reaching the quarterfinals of both the French Open and U.S. Open, and becoming No. 7 in the world in men’s singles. After knee injuries forced him to retire in 1992, Berger turned to coaching and coached the University of Miami men’s tennis team for 5 seasons from 1998-2002. During the 1998 season, Berger coached the Hurricanes to a 16-9 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.|