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Men's Tennis Has Season Ended in Austin

May 8, 2021
Mathew Tsolakyan (Photo: Thomas Stepp/UT Athletics)

AUSTIN, Texas – The UCLA men's tennis team was eliminated from NCAA Championships play with a 4-1 first-round loss to Northwestern Saturday morning at the Texas Tennis Center.

The Bruins (13-7) took the doubles point in thrilling fashion, but were unable to tally a win in singles action. The Wildcats (14-7) triumphed in five first sets en route to four straight-set victories.

Doubles play was a back-and-forth affair, with the opening point coming down to a tiebreaker. The Bruins started play with a win in the only ranked matchup of the day, as No. 72 Drew Baird and Govind Nanda knocked off No. 34 Simen Bratholm and Nick Brookes by a 6-3 score on the top court. The Wildcats answered on Court 2, as Chris Ephron and Dominik Stary dug themselves out of an early hole to defeat Bryce Pereira and Patrick Zahraj, 6-4. That turned the focus to Court 3, where Roscoe Bellamy and Mathew Tsolakyan of UCLA were forced into a tiebreaker by Steven Forman and Natan Spear before taking charge. They prevailed by a 7-2 score, giving the Bruins the early lead.

Ben Goldberg captured the only singles first set for UCLA, as Northwestern seized momentum. The senior's match was ultimately left unfinished, though he held a third-set lead of 3-2.

Trice Pickens got the Wildcats on the board with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Bellamy on Court 5. Bellamy had won seven of eight singles matches entering play Saturday and completes his season with an 8-3 record.

Stary gave Northwestern the lead with a 6-4, 6-1 performance against Baird on Court 2.

Tsolakyan jumped out to a first-set advantage on Court 6, but Presely Thieneman answered to take it by a narrow margin. Thieneman went on to pick up the necessary break of serve in the second, finishing off a 7-5, 6-4 win.

On Court 1, a tiebreaker was needed to decide the first set between Nanda and Forman. Forman closed it out and rode his advantage to a close second-set win and the clincher, 7-6(5), 6-4.

Tennis Match Results
Northwestern vs UCLA
5/8/2021 at Austin, TX
(Texas Tennis Center)

Northwestern 4, #23 UCLA 1

Singles competition
1. Steven Forman (NW) def. Govind Nanda (UCLA) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
2. Dominik Stary (NW) def. Drew Baird (UCLA) 6-4, 6-1
3. Ben Goldberg (UCLA) vs. Nick Brookes (NW) 6-2, 3-6, 3-2, unfinished
4. Sam Feit (UCLA) vs. Chris Ephron (NW) 2-6, 6-2, 1-4, unfinished
5. Trice Pickens (NW) def. Roscoe Bellamy (UCLA) 6-4, 6-3
6. Presley Thieneman (NW) def. Mathew Tsolakyan (UCLA) 7-5, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. #72 Drew Baird/Govind Nanda (UCLA) def. #34 Simen Bratholm/Nick Brookes (NW) 6-3
2. Chris Ephron/Dominik Stary (NW) def. Bryce Pereira/Patrick Zahraj (UCLA) 6-4
3. Roscoe Bellamy/Mathew Tsolakyan (UCLA) def. Steven Forman/Natan Spear (NW) 7-6 (7-2)

Match Notes:
Northwestern 14-7
UCLA 13-7; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,2,6,1)
NCAA Championships - First Round
Texas Regional