Three Men's Tennis Standouts Honored by Pac-12
SAN FRANCISCO – Keegan Smith, Govind Nanda and Drew Baird of the UCLA men's tennis team earned All-Conference acclaim, the Pac-12 announced Thursday.
Smith was named to the First Team, while Nanda was voted to the Second Team. Drew Baird made the Honorable Mention list.
Smith registered a team-high 13 singles wins against just two losses. Seven of those victories came versus nationally-ranked opponents, as did both defeats. Smith knocked off then-No. 1 Daniel Cukierman in straight sets and also felled fellow conference standouts Axel Geller of Stanford, Yuta Kikuchi of California and Nathan Ponwith of Arizona State over the course of the campaign. He clinched wins over Cal and Washington. Smith became a three-time All-Conference performer with the selection. He also made the First Team in 2019 and was a Second-Team pick in 2018. All-Conference honors were not handed out in 2020.
Nanda, who did not make his first match appearance until March 22. He would win seven of his first eight singles contests, including a winner-take-all triumph versus then-No. 3 Alexandre Rotsaert of Stanford in his 2021 debut. Nanda also prevailed over No. 91 Emmanuel Coste of Oregon and No. 95 Arthur Fery of Stanford. On the doubles side, Nanda and Baird made the most of their first appearance on Court 1, as they dropped then-No. 5 Cukierman and Riley Smith in a tiebreaker to seize the doubles point from their crosstown rivals on the road. Nanda was also a Second-Team All-Conference honoree in 2019.
Baird turned in a 9-8 singles record across Courts 2 and 3. His marquee victory came over then-No. 19 Riley Smith in straight sets. Baird clinched wins versus Oregon and UC Santa Barbara. He went 9-6 in doubles competitions, including a 4-1 mark with Sam Feit. Baird and Feit notably took down No. 34 Daniel De Jonge and Adrian Oetzbach of Pepperdine during the season-opening Pepperdine Invite. The All-Conference nod marks a first for Baird.