No. 11 Bruins Upset Fourth-Ranked Cardinal

March 27, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - In the first match of the 2009 Pac-10 season, the fourth-ranked Stanford men's team suffered its third overall defeat of the year, dropping today's contest to No. 11 UCLA 4-3 at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

The Cardinal got off to a good start, rallying to win the doubles point thanks to victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions after losing at No. 3. Senior Matt Bruch provided a thrilling ending in the top slot, crushing his final serve in the tiebreaker to give him and partner senior Blake Muller the upset victory over the Bruins' No. 58 Haythem Abid and Nick Meister 9-8(5). Then, the rookie pair of Ryan Thacher and Bradley Klahn secured the point with a 9-7 win over Matt Brooklyn and Michael Look, 9-7.

In singles, UCLA took the first point, as Brooklyn defeated Bruch in straight-sets. Then, the Cardinal took back the one-point advantage as No. 53 Klahn battled No. 125 Holden Seguso to a tiebreaker in the first set before cruising in the second set to win 7-6(2), 6-1.

The Bruins' No. 103 Meister knotted things once again with a win over junior No. 113 Richard Wire, 7-5, 7-5, at No. 5 singles. UCLA then took the go-ahead point and its first lead of the day as No. 13 Alex Clayton was upset by No. 51 Haythem Abid, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

In need of winning its next two matches to secure the victory, Stanford needed sophomore Greg Hirshman and Thacher to come through. Thacher did, gutting out a third set comeback over No. 74 Michael Look 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, but Hirshman fell victim to an injury late in the match that severely limited his court movement that allowed Inbar to steal the match and the victory for the Bruins.

'This is almost exactly what happened in L.A.,' said head coach John Whitlinger. 'Except they won this one. It was another great match and neither team was giving the other an inch. They just happened to win the last point.'

'It's never easy winning on another team's home court, and today they returned the favor to us,' continued Whitlinger. 'We had great efforts from both Brad and Ryan again, and Greg gave everything he had left in his tank. I'm really proud of the effort he gave, and he almost pulled it off.'

'These are the type of matches you get in NCAA Tournament, and it's another great match preparing us for May. We never like to lose, but the most important thing the guys should understand is that. We still have a ways to go, and sure this is a set-back, but we're getting stronger because of matches like this.'

The Cardinal, now 12-3 overall and 0-1 in the Pac-10 will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m., and will square off against No. 8 USC, who defeated No. 43 California 6-1 today in Berkeley.

March 27, 2009 - Stanford, Calif.
No. 11 UCLA 4, No. 4 Stanford 3
Doubles

1) Bruch/Muller (STAN) d. No. 58 Abid/Meister (UCLA) 9-8 (5)
2) Thacher/Klahn (STAN) d. Brooklyn/Look (UCLA) 9-7
3) Inbar/Srugo (UCLA) d. Wire/Kelly (STAN) 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
Singles

1) No. 51 Haythem Abid (UCLA) d. No. 13 Alex Clayton (STAN) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
2) No. 53 Bradley Klahn (STAN) d. No. 125 Holden Seguso (UCLA) 7-6 (2), 6-1
3) Ryan Thacher (STAN) d. No. 74 Michael Look (UCLA) 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3
4) No. 79 Matt Brooklyn (UCLA) d. Matt Bruch (STAN) 6-1, 6-2
5) No. 103 Nick Meister (UCLA) d. No. 113 Richard Wire (STAN) 7-5, 7-5
6) Amit Inbar (UCLA) d. Greg Hirshman (STAN) 6-7 (4), 3-6, 6-4*
Order of Finish: 4, 2, 5, 1, 3, 6*
*denotes clinching point

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