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No. 17 Men's Tennis Bests UC Santa Barbara, 6-1

Feb 24, 2021
Patrick Zahraj (Photo: Jesus Ramirez)

LOS ANGELES – The No. 17 UCLA men's tennis team took care of business Wednesday afternoon against UC Santa Barbara, posting a 6-1 victory at Los Angeles Tennis Center.

The match marked the second of seven straight scheduled at LATC for the Bruins (3-1). They will next face No. 9 USC in a non-conference rivalry match Sunday at 1 p.m., PT.

Drew Baird clinched the win for UCLA, which captured the final five singles matches after Victor Krustev got the Gauchos on the board. UCSB was making its 2021 debut.

Krustev and Joseph Rotheram got the Gauchos off on the right foot in doubles play, registering a 6-0 defeat of Baird and Sam Feit on Court 2. The remaining matches belonged to the Bruins, however, with Bryce Pereira and Connor Rapp first to strike. The pair handed Joseph Guillin and Alejandro Vedri a 6-2 loss to improve its all-time record to 5-1.

On the top court, Keegan Smith and Patrick Zahraj locked up the doubles point for UCLA. The Bruins picked up a 6-2 win of their own against Kai Brady and Stefano Tsorotiotis for their first as partners.

UCLA won five of six first sets from UCSB, but Krustev quickly got the Gauchos on the board with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Ben Goldberg on Court 3.

Mathew Tsolakyan put the lead back into the hands of the Bruins on Court 5, where he won his 10th decision in a row dating back to Feb. 15, 2020. His 6-4, 6-3 win over Rotheram Wednesday marked his team-high fourth of the campaign.

In the day's only matchup of ranked opponents, No. 10 Smith took care of No. 27 Guillin, 6-2, 6-4, on the top court. Smith has now knocked off a pair of top-50 opponents this season. The latest made the score 3-1.

The clincher came next door to Smith on Court 2, where Baird prevented Oklahoma transfer Tsorotiotis from forcing a third set. Baird's 6-4, 7-5 victory marked the first decider of his UCLA career.

With the overall win already secured, Feit and Zahraj still looked to finish strong. Like Baird, Zahraj was able to limit his match to two sets on Court 6. He finished off his first win of the season with a tiebreaker, 6-4, 7-6(2). Feit went on to close his match strong, picking up his first win at LATC by a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 score over Vedri on Court 4.

Tennis Match Results
UC Santa Barbara vs UCLA
2/24/2021 at Los Angeles, CA
(Los Angeles Tennis Center)

#17 UCLA 6, UC Santa Barbara 1

Singles competition
1. #10 Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. #27 Joseph Guillin (UCSB) 6-2, 6-4
2. Drew Baird (UCLA) def. Stefano Tsorotiotis (UCSB) 6-4, 7-5
3. Victor Krustev (UCSB) def. Ben Goldberg (UCLA) 6-2, 6-2
4. #109 Sam Feit (UCLA) def. Alejandro Vedri (UCSB) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
5. Mathew Tsolakyan (UCLA) def. Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) 6-4, 6-3
6. Patrick Zahraj (UCLA) def. Pablo Masjuan (UCSB) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)

Doubles competition
1. Keegan Smith/Patrick Zahraj (UCLA) def. Kai Brady/Stefano Tsorotiotis (UCSB) 6-2
2. Victor Krustev/Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) def. Drew Baird/Sam Feit (UCLA) 6-0
3. Bryce Pereira/Connor Rapp (UCLA) def. Joseph Guillin/Alejandro Vedri (UCSB) 6-2

Match Notes:
UC Santa Barbara 0-1
UCLA 3-1; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,5,1,2,6,4)