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Men's Tennis Suffers 4-3 Loss at Stanford

Apr 9, 2021
Keegan Smith (Photo: Eric Hurd)

STANFORD, Calif. – The No. 34/25 UCLA men's tennis team jumped out to a 3-0 lead before being overcome down the stretch by No. 37/29 Stanford, falling by a 4-3 score in Pac-12 action Friday at Taube Family Tennis Center.

The Bruins (11-4, 4-2 in Pac-12 play) captured the doubles point without a loss and received convincing wins from Govind Nanda and Keegan Smith to start the match. The Cardinal (7-3, 4-0) charged back, however, with the decision ultimately made by Timothy Sah on Court 5.

Smith and Bryce Pereira continued coming into their own as a partnership, winning their third in a row on the top court. The 6-4 result over Axel Geller and Neel Rajesh gave UCLA the edge with the remaining courts teetering in the balance. With teammates Roscoe Bellamy and Mathew Tsolakyan clinging to a 5-4 advantage of its own, Nanda and Drew Baird secured the day's first point with a 6-4 showing against Sah and Tristan Boyer on Court 2.

The Bruins collected first-set wins on the top three singles courts, but Stanford stayed in striking range.

No. 48 Smith improved to 13-2 on the season with an overpowering performance versus Axel Geller on Court 1. His 6-2, 6-0 victory doubled the UCLA lead. Smith is 2-0 against Geller this season.

In the only matchup of nationally-ranked opponents, No. 116 Nanda posted a 6-2, 6-3 result against No. 95 Fery to make it 3-0. Nanda, who moved to 7-1 in singles matches, previously beat No. 3 Alexandre Rotsaert of Stanford in a winner-take-all decision to finalize the non-conference meeting.

The Cardinal got on the board on Court 4, where Tristan Boyer dispatched of Ben Goldberg, 6-4, 6-0. Stanford completed its first comeback next, as Rotsaert cut the deficit in half with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 showing against No. 81 Baird on Court 3.

In a back-and-forth affair on Court 6, William Genesen came out on top of a pair of tiebreakers against Mathew Tsolakyan to pull the Cardinal even. The 7-6(4), 7-6(5) decision marked just the second loss of the season for Tsolakyan.

The match was decided on Court 5, where Sah took the final three games to close out a 6-3, 6-7(8), 6-4 win over Feit.

The Bruins return to action April 16, when they face No. 15/12 USC at David X. Marks Stadium. The Pac-12 regular-season finale for both teams is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., PT.

Tennis Match Results
UCLA vs Stanford
4/9/2021 at Stanford, CA
(Taube Family Tennis Center)

#37 Stanford 4, #34 UCLA 3

Singles competition
1. #48 Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Axel Geller (STAN) 6-0, 6-2
2. #116 Govind Nanda (UCLA) def. #95 Arthur Fery (STAN) 6-2, 6-3
3. Alexandre Rotsaert (STAN) def. #81 Drew Baird (UCLA) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Tristan Boyer (STAN) def. Ben Goldberg (UCLA) 6-4, 6-0
5. Timothy Sah (STAN) def. Sam Feit (UCLA) 6-3, 6-7 (8-10), 6-4
6. William Genesen (STAN) def. Mathew Tsolakyan (UCLA), 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5)

Doubles competition
1. #75 Bryce Pereira/Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Axel Geller/Neel Rajesh (STAN) 6-4
2. Drew Baird/Govind Nanda (UCLA) def. Tristan Boyer/Timothy Sah (STAN) 6-4
3. Roscoe Bellamy/Mathew Tsolakyan (UCLA) vs. Arthur Fery/Alexandre Rotsaert (STAN) 5-4, unfinished

Match Notes:
UCLA 11-4; National ranking #34
Stanford 7-3; National ranking #37
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,2,4,3,6,5)