NCAA men's tennis championships: UCLA and USC move on to round of 16

UCLA Athletics

UCLA and USC won their second-round matches while Cal and Stanford lost in the round of 32 in NCAA men's tennis tournament play Saturday across the country. UCLA and USC move on to Waco, Texas, which will be the site for the rest of the NCAA tennis championships.


No. 16 UCLA is one step closer to nabbing its 17th national championship after sweeping Texas Tech, 4-0, in Westwood. The doubles point didn’t come easy for the Bruins, who went up 1-0 after Dennis Mkrtchian/Austin Rapp edged Connor Curry/Francisco Zambon 8-7 at No. 3 doubles. Singles play was a little smoother for the Bruins, as the bottom half of the order got the job done – Joseph Di Giulio took down Curry, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 6 to put UCLA up, 2-0, Rapp squeezed past Zambon, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 5 and Karue Sell pulled off the minor upset over 123rd-ranked Jolan Cailleau (6-3, 7-5) to give the Bruins the clinching point at No. 4.

Saturday’s win makes the Bruins a whopping 115-34 in NCAA tourney play in 39 appearances (more wins than any school in NCAA tournament play). The Bruins will have a chance to exact some revenge on top-seeded Oklahoma in the round of 16 on Thursday; the Sooners defeated the Bruins, 4-2, in last year’s semifinals.


The defending champs are on to the Sweet 16 after knocking off San Diego State, 4-0, Saturday at Marks Stadium. San Jose native Eric Johnson and partner Max de Vroome gave the Trojans the doubles point thanks to this:

Nick Crystal put the Trojans up 3-0 with a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 6 singles as a result of this backhand shot:

And then Jonny Wang closed out the proceedings with this overhand slam, taking No. 4 singles, 6-3, 6-2.

USC will have a chance to avenge Stanford’s Saturday loss with its round-of-16 date with Duke on Thursday in Waco.


Stanford couldn’t hold on to an early edge as host No. 10 Duke defeated the Card, 4-1, to advance to the round of 16. Stanford got the doubles point for the 14th time in their last 15 matches thanks to wins from ninth-ranked duo John Morrissey/Robert Stineman at No. 1 and 69th-ranked Tom Fawcett/Maciek Romanowicz at No. 2. Entering Saturday 16-4 when winning the doubles point, the Cardinal appeared to be in good shape.

However, the buck stopped in singles play, where the Blue Devils had higher-ranked players on the first three courts. Two such ranked guys – No. 14 Nicolas Alvarez and No. 57 Raphael Hemmeler – scored singles points for the Blue Devils, as Alvarez took out 26th-ranked Fawcett, 6-4, 6-0, and Hemmeler defeated Friday clincher David Wilczynski, 6-4, 6-4, to give Duke command of the match. The final blow came on court six, where TJ Pura defeated Stanford’s Nolan Paige in three sets (5-7, 6-4, 6-3).

Although Stanford lost Saturday, it can go home with its head held high having won its first NCAA tourney match since 2012. Hopefully Saturday’s defeat to Duke doesn’t lead to bad blood between Johnny Dawkins and Mike Krzyzewski…


The Golden Bears scrapped valiantly to keep their tournament run alive as long as possible but fell to ninth-seeded and host Texas, 4-1. Cal lost a hard-fought doubles point when the Texas tandem of Nick Naumann/Michael Riechmann edged Filip Bergevi/Mads Engsted, 8-7, but it's worth noting Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg had a 6-5 lead at No. 2 when the doubles point was clinched. The Longhorns pushed the edge to 3-0 with two-set victories in singles play from Naumann (d. J.T. Nishimura 6-1, 6-4) and Lloyd Glasspool (d. Bergevi 6-4, 7-5), but the Golden Bears dug in on all other courts.

After dropping the first set, Billy Griffith took the second on No. 6. Wikberg took the first set at No. 4. Gregory Bayane put Cal on the board with an upset of 54th-ranked Adrien Berkowicz on No. 3 (7-5, 6-3). Meanwhile, 29th-ranked Goransson was engaged in a tussle with fourth-ranked Søren Hess-Olesen at No. 1. Goransson took the first set, 7-5, but eventually dropped the next two (6-4, 6-3 in favor of Hess-Olesen) to give the Longhorns their ticket to Waco. Here’s the clinching point, courtesy of the Texas men’s tennis Twitter feed:

Texas moves on to face Georgia in the Sweet 16.

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