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Men's Tennis to Host San Diego Tuesday

Apr 5, 2021
Roscoe Bellamy (Photo: Suzi Mellano)

Tuesday, April 6/2:30 PM PT
Live Stream/Live Stats:
Series vs. San Diego: UCLA leads, 31-0
Last Meeting vs. USD: UCLA won 4-1 on Jan. 26, 2019

The UCLA men's tennis team will face its third West Coast opponent in five days, as San Diego visits Los Angeles Tennis Center Tuesday. First serve is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., PT. The Bruins (10-3) are set to complete a three-match homestand, having already beaten Pac-12 foes Oregon and Washington last week. UCLA has won seven of its last eight contests. The Toreros (6-7) enter coming off a thrilling 4-3 road win over Gonzaga in West Coast Conference play.

Fans are not permitted to attend events at UCLA Athletics venues, including Los Angeles Tennis Center, in adherence to the latest COVID-19 guidelines set by the state of California and Los Angeles County. Live streaming and live scoring for all home UCLA men's tennis matches will be available HERE.

UCLA outscored conference opponents Oregon (5-2) and Washington (7-0) by a combined 12-2 margin during a weekend sweep at Los Angeles Tennis Center. Against the Ducks, the Bruins needed to bounce back from a lost doubles point to secure the overall win — the fourth time they had accomplished that feat in six matches. UCLA ran off five singles victories in a row to answer their early deficit emphatically. Drew Baird clinched the comeback. Oregon picked up the first and last points of the match. The next day, the Bruins dropped just one set en route to their shutout of the Huskies. UCLA picked up the doubles point and never looked back, with Govind Nanda, Keegan Smith and Mathew Tsolakyan accounting for the singles wins needed to seal the overall result.

UCLA men's tennis holds a combined all-time record of 31-0 against San Diego. The teams last met during the 2019 ITA Kickoff Weekend at Los Angeles Tennis Center, where the Bruins registered a 4-1 defeat of the Toreros to lock up a berth in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship tournament. USD earned the doubles point by way of a dramatic tiebreaker won by Guus Koevermans and David Norfeldt, 8-6, over Connor Rapp and Patrick Zahraj. UCLA went on to claim first-set wins on each singles court and completed its comeback when Mathew Tsolakyan, Maxime Cressy, Govind Nanda and Keegan Smith came out on top of straight-set results, in order.

The non-conference match between UCLA and Pepperdine, previously scheduled for March 10 before rain hit Los Angeles Tennis Center, will be made up April 21 at 2 p.m., PT.

The UCLA men's tennis team checks in at No. 19 (tied with Mississippi State) in the latest Tennis Channel/USTA Top 25, it was announced Wednesday, March 30. The Bruins are No. 36 in the most recent Oracle ITA team rankings, released Tuesday March 29. Oracle ITA also unveiled its newest player rankings the same day, with Bruins Keegan Smith (No. 48), Drew Baird (81) and Govind Nanda (116) on the singles list. Smith and Bryce Pereira comprise the No. 75 doubles pair. The appearance of Pereira marks the first of his career.

Fresh off his initial match play of the 2020-21 campaign, Govind Nanda was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for March 22-28, the conference announced Wednesday. The award is the second received by a Bruin this season, as Keegan Smith was recognized March 2. Nanda played the role of hero in UCLA's 4-3 home victory over Stanford March 22. Tasked with taking down the nation's then-No. 3 player, Alexandre Rotsaert, he did just that by a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 score. The Court-2 showdown was the final match of the day and represented Nanda's first singles appearance of the season. He also earned singles victories against Bjorn Hoffmann of UC Irvine March 23 and Makey Rakotomalala of Arizona State March 26. Smith was honored after earning wins over a pair of top-30 singles opponents – including top-ranked Daniel Cukierman of USC Feb. 28 – and had a hand in clinching the doubles point versus UC Santa Barbara Feb. 24. He also beat No. 27 Joseph Guillin of the Gauchos.

Mathew Tsolakyan leads UCLA with three clinching wins this season, capturing the deciding points against Loyola Marymount (Feb. 15), UC Irvine (Feb. 20) and Arizona State (March 26). Since Feb. 15, 2020, Tsolakyan is 15-1. He has had just one match left unfinished during that time. This season has also seen Tsolakyan collect the first doubles win of his dual-match career. In an ITA Kickoff Weekend match Jan. 25, Tsolakyan and partner Ben Goldberg outlasted Stefan Dostanic and Ryder Jackson of USC, 7-5, to give UCLA the doubles point against the host and then-No. 1 Trojans.

Drew Baird, Ben Goldberg and Keegan Smith defeated a trio of Oracle ITA then-top-26 players in the Bruins' narrow home loss to USC on Feb. 28. Each win represents a career best in terms of ranking. Baird dispatched of No. 19 Riley Smith, 6-3, 6-4, for his third straight-set victory in a row. Goldberg knocked off No. 26 Mor Bulis, 7-6(5), 6-2, for his second-career win on Court 3. And in a top-court showdown, Smith took down No. 1 Daniel Cukierman, 6-2, 7-5, evening their personal series at two wins apiece. Smith is now 27-15 versus nationally-ranked opponents for his career. Baird is 2-3 in those situations, while Goldberg holds a 5-7 mark.

The UCLA men's tennis program has hired former standout Karue Sell to the position of volunteer assistant coach, head coach Billy Martin announced Monday. A native of Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, Sell embarked on a professional career after posting records of 104-31 in singles matches and 90-41 in doubles play for the Bruins from 2013-16. He was an active tournament participant into 2019 before working with Naomi Osaka, the current WTA No. 2 singles player. Sell was by Osaka's side when she won her third Grand Slam singles championship at the 2020 US Open and continued to assist her as she took the top spot at the 2021 Australian Open. Sell also served as volunteer assistant coach for Pepperdine under head coach Marcelo Ferreira during the 2016-17 season.

Senior Keegan Smith possesses career records of 91-20 in singles play and 66-27 in doubles action. He captured the NCAA doubles championship with Maxime Cressy in 2019, the last time the tournament was played. The pair was undefeated in 21 matches and 26 sets. Smith is a three-time All-American and looks to join Brian Teacher (1973-76), Ferdi Taygan (1974-77) and Marcel Freeman (1979-82) in UCLA's exclusive club of four-timers.

MR. 600
With the Bruins' 4-0 ITA Indoors defeat of NC State on Feb. 16, 2020, head coach Billy Martin reached the 600-win plateau for his career.
MORE ON MARTIN - Martin, who became the program's all-time leader in head-coaching wins in 2019, is the longest-tenured active coach at UCLA. In his 28th year as head coach and 38th campaign on staff, Martin holds a record of 614-131 (.824) at the helm. He guided the 2005 Bruins to the program's 16th NCAA team title and just three Martin-led squads have finished outside the top five at the season-ending NCAA Championships. Benjamin Kohlloeffel (2006), Marcos Giron (2014) and Mackenzie McDonald (2016) have earned NCAA singles titles on Martin's watch, while UCLA has become a frequent landing spot for doubles champions of late. In addition to 1996 winners Justin Gimelstob and Srdjan Muskatirovic, three of the last four titleholders (McDonald/Martin Redlicki in 2016, Redlicki/Evan Zhu in 2018 and Maxime Cressy/Keegan Smith in 2019 have called Westwood home.

Legendary UCLA men's tennis head coach Glenn Bassett, who guided the Bruins to seven NCAA team championships as head coach, passed away August 18, 2020 at the age of 93. Bassett held a career record of 592-92-2 over 27 seasons (1967-93) as UCLA head coach. At the time of his retirement, he was the winningest men's tennis head coach, by percentage (.864), in NCAA Division I history. Bassett was also the first individual to collect NCAA tennis team championships as a player, an assistant coach and a head coach – all at UCLA. A co-captain under head coach Bill Ackerman, Bassett helped UCLA to its first-ever NCAA championship as a player in 1950. He went on to serve as assistant coach under JD Morgan and was part of five more team titles in that role. Bassett began his head coaching career at Santa Monica High School, where he guided his alma mater to five CIF Southern Section large-school crowns in a row (1962-66) before succeeding Morgan.