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Men's Tennis Set for Non-Conference NorCal Road Trip

Feb 3, 2022
Giacomo Revelli (Photo: Lillie Yazdi)

The No. 23 UCLA men's tennis team returns to action with a pair of weekend non-conference matches in Northern California, starting Saturday at California's Hellman Tennis Complex. First serve between the Bruins and Golden Bears is set for 1 p.m. PT. UCLA then meets No. 12 Stanford Sunday at Taube Family Tennis Center, where action will also begin at 1 p.m.

Live streaming and live scoring from California's Hellman Tennis Complex will be available HERE. Both live video and up-to-the-minute results from Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Center will be found HERE.

Drew Baird overcame a 2-5 third-set deficit to give UCLA a 4-3 win against Texas Tech Jan. 30 in the ITA Kickoff Weekend consolation match at Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M. The Bruins captured the doubles point and built a 3-1 lead before the Red Raiders mounted their comeback with back-to-back singles wins to tie the score and turn all eyes toward Baird and Isaac Arevalo on the top court. In order to reach that point, UCLA also received singles victories from Giacomo Revelli and Patrick Zahraj.

UCLA holds an all-time record of 101-15 against California. The programs last faced off in the 2021 season opener, which the Bruins won by a 4-0 score. The ITA Kickoff Weekend match at USC's David X. Marks Tennis Stadium, which was delayed four-and-a-half hours due to rain, was decided without the need of doubles play. UCLA is 76-55 versus Stanford. Each side won a 4-3 decision on its home court in 2021. At Los Angeles Tennis Center, Govind Nanda of UCLA provided the heroics with all eyes on his court, outlasting Alexandre Rotsaert in three sets. Then, at Taube Family Tennis Center, the Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Cardinal answered by taking the final four wins. Timothy Sah defeated Sam Feit in three sets for the difference.

UCLA holds a 13-9 record in matches decided by 4-3 scores since the start of the 2016 season. Head coach Billy Martin's 2022 team is 1-0 in such results, as Drew Baird rallied from a 2-5 deficit to notch the decider against Texas Tech in the Jan. 30 ITA Kickoff Weekend consolation contest. In 2021, the Bruins played five matches that ended in 4-3 scores, going 2-3. The previous three do-or-die situations went to UCLA.

UCLA took part in five tournaments during the fall. Stefan Leustian racked up a team-best eight singles wins, recording quarterfinal-round finishes at the SoCal Intercollegiate Championships and the ITA Southwest Regional Championships. Alexander Hoogamartens knocked off a nationally-ranked counterpart, No. 70 Lleyton Cronje of UCF, in his debut, and went on to beat another, No. 117 Daniel De Jonge of Pepperdine, at the ITA Southwest Regionals. He finished the year with a 4-2 singles record. Giacomo Revelli and Patrick Zahraj teamed to make the ITA Southwest Regionals doubles final round. Their three wins tops on the team during the fall.

UCLA is ranked No. 23 in the latest ITA coaches poll, released Feb. 2. Individually, two Bruins made their debuts on the first singles list (Dec. 8, 2021), as Alexander Hoogmartens is No. 41 and Stefan Leustian is No. 96 after standout fall campaigns. As a team, the Bruins completed the 2020-21 season slotted at No. 25.

2020-21 IN REVIEW
The 2020-21 Bruins went 13-7, earning a spot in the program's 44th NCAA tournament in as many opportunities. Shorthanded for a majority of the season, a near-full-strength group won eight of nine matches played from March 2-April 6. During that stretch, UCLA turned in 4-3 victories versus Stanford (March 22) and at Arizona State (March 26), with Govind Nanda and Mathew Tsolakyan the last men standing in those contests, respectively. Keegan Smith logged the most singles wins on the team, going 13-2 before his season was cut short. Bryce Pereira accumulated a team-best 10 doubles triumphs, playing with three different partners. Smith was named to the All-Pac-12 first team, while Nanda was voted to the second team. Drew Baird earned honorable mention acclaim. Smith was ranked No. 55 by the ITA among singles players, while Baird and Nanda formed the No. 46 doubles tandem, to finish the season.

The Bruins' core of returners is headlined by junior Drew Baird, who posted eight singles results each on Courts 2 and 3. Six seniors with dual-match experience – Roscoe Bellamy, Eric Hahn, Bryce Pereira, Mathew Tsolakyan, Max Wild and Patrick Zahraj -- are also back. Pereira, who a team-high 10 doubles wins in 2020-21, returns for a fifth year. Also back are redshirt junior Blaine Hovenier and sophomores Stefan Leustian and Timothy Li.

Seniors Lucas Bellamy (no records in 2020-21), Ben Goldberg (9-8 singles, 3-0 doubles), Connor Hance (0-1 singles, 1-0 doubles), Connor Rapp (3-2 doubles) and Keegan Smith (13-2 singles, 8-6 doubles), as well as graduate student Sam Feit (11-6 singles, 4-2 doubles), moved on after the end of the 2020-21 season. Govind Nanda (8-4 singles, 5-5 doubles) also left following his junior campaign to pursue a full-time career in professional tennis. Though he exhausted his eligibility after using the extra year afforded by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Goldberg remains with the program in the position of volunteer assistant coach.

The UCLA roster features freshmen Jeffrey Fradkin, Alexander Hoogmartens, Karl Lee and Giacomo Revelli. Fradkin (New York, N.Y.), a 5-Star recruit according to, was the Boys' 14 Combined No. 1 player for the USTA Eastern Section in 2016 and captured the ITF J4 Guatemala singles title in 2019. Hoogmartens (Beersel, Belgium) teamed with Jeffrey von Der Schulenburg to win the ITF J1 Bradenton (Eddie Herr ITF) doubles title in 2019 and participated in the Roland-Garros and Australian Open junior tournaments in 2020. Lee (Sacramento, Calif.), a Blue Chip prospect who was named the top player in his class by in 2017, collected the 2020 UTR Newport Beach (Calif.) Open singles title. Revelli (London, England) advanced to the ITF M25 singles second round in 2021 and qualified for singles main draws at the M25 Calabasas, CA, M15 Warmbad-Villach and M25 Grodzisk Mazowiecki events the same year.

Head coach Billy 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 29th year as head coach and 39th campaign on staff, Martin holds a record of 619-136 (.820) 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.