It's a point of pride for Trevor Kronemann, the UC Irvine men's tennis coach who is back for his fifth year coaching the Breakers.
"We really tried to build it with a Southern California flair, if you will," Kronemann said. "We've got so many great players that are right here in our backyard … We really tried to build it with that theme. I'm sitting here trying to do the same thing recruiting-wise [for UC Irvine]. Just draw a circle 50 miles around Irvine, and I'd say we were pushing 20-plus Grand Slam championships within a 50-mile radius of Irvine and Newport Beach. You've got Lindsay [Davenport], Ricky [Leach], you've got [Roy] Emerson, Scott Davis. The list just goes on and on. There's so many good players right here."
He believes the four main players who will be suiting up for Newport Beach are also good. They will try to help Newport Beach advance to the playoffs for the second time in three years.
They'll also try to hang in there, as a brutal opening schedule has the Breakers playing on each of the first seven days of the season.
"I have to believe that we're going to be better in every single spot this year," said Kronemann, whose teams are 22-35 since he became coach in 2007. "What does that mean, is it a game and a half [better] or two games? I don't know, but we're going to find out quickly here."
Cook will play his second year for the Breakers, and Kronemann said he's looking for Cook, 27, to be a top three or four player in the league in men's singles.
The other holdover is Marie-Eve Pelletier, the Canadian woman who will be in her third year for Newport Beach. Pelletier, 29, is in the midst of a strong professional season, as she's won four International Tennis Federation doubles tournaments.