Men's Tennis to Continue Fall Play in Santa Barbara
LOS ANGELES – Three UCLA men's tennis student-athletes started the team's 2021 fall campaign in Tulsa, Okla., while four others are bound for Santa Barbara, Calif. and the next series of matches.
Alexander Hoogmartens, Stefan Leustian and Patrick Zahraj each turned in two wins across prequalifying and qualifying singles and doubles matches at the ITA All-American Championships, which started Oct. 2. Their play at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center extended through Oct. 5.
Leustian was triumphant twice in singles prequalifying action, taking down Roman Postolka of UAB and Alan Sau Franco of UT Arlington. Each was a hard-earned victory, as Leustian edged out Postolka in a first-set tiebreaker en route to his 7-6(4), 6-4 win. Leustian needed a comeback effort to dispatch of Sau Franco, narrowly prevailing in a 6-7(3), 6-3, 1-0(0) decision. Leustian would go three more sets versus California's Carl Emil Overbeck, who ultimately moved on in another close one, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
Zahraj dropped his singles debut against Chen Dong of Georgia Tech, 6-3, 6-4, in the prequalifying rounds. Zahraj would bounce back, though, topping Anton Ornberg of UNLV convincingly, 6-3, 6-1, in consolation play.
Hoogmartens got his start in qualifying and his debut was one to remember. The freshman fell behind early in his contest with the nation's 70th-ranked player, Lleyton Cronje of UCF, but powered back to take a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 decision. Hoogmartens' singles journey would end one round later, as he was defeated by Michigan's Gavin Young, 7-5, 6-4.
Hoogmartens and Zahraj also teamed up in doubles qualifying and their first match as a combination proved to be successful. The pair made quick work of Texas A&M's Austin Abbrat and Matthis Ross, 6-3, 6-2. The next round would be the end of the line, though, as Tennessee's Emile Hudd and Shunsuke Mitsui eked out a 6-7(5), 6-1, 1-0(3) victory.
Eric Hahn, Karl Lee, Timothy Li and Max Wild are set to head up the coast for the Bruins' return to the UCSB Classic on the campus of UC Santa Barbara. Head coach Billy Martin's group last participated in the tournament during Fall 2019, as the 2020 installment was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.