May 19, 2011
Stanford, Calif. - In a match lasting close to five hours, the 12th-seeded UCLA men's tennis team lost a heartbreaker in the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships on Thursday, suffering a 4-3 loss to fifth-seeded Baylor at Stanford's Taube South Courts. With the loss, the Bruins end their season with an 18-7 overall record. It marks the first time since 1988 that UCLA has not reached at least the quarterfinals at the NCAA Championships.
"It's certainly always tough to lose a match like that when you're so close to winning," said UCLA head coach Billy Martin. "I'm still proud of the way the guys played. We have a really young team this year with three freshmen in our top four. I think it only means that our future is bright. But this was a tough one to lose. Baylor is certainly a good team so no disgrace there."
Although the Bruins struck first in doubles when UCLA's Daniel Kosakowski and Holden Seguso downed Julian Bley and Kiki Grangeiro, 8-3 at court No. 3, the Bears were far from surrendering the point. In fact, Baylor was up 7-5 at court No. 2 and owned a 7-6 lead, on serve, at the No. 1 position. Baylor would eventually even things up when Sergio Ramirez and Jordan Rux beat Warren Hardie and Amit Inbar, 8-5 at the No. 2 spot. That focused all the attention on court No. 1, where the point hinged on a battle between fifth-ranked John Peers and Roberto Maytin against UCLA's 32nd-ranked Alex Brigham and Adrien Puget. Although UCLA was able to save two match points and eventually hold serve to tie the match at 7-7, the Bears held for an 8-7 advantage, taking the win and the doubles point by breaking Puget in the very next game. It proved to be a crucial point for the Bears.
"It has killed us all year," said Martin about the team's doubles play. "We really have not excelled well in doubles. If we had just been able to win that doubles point it would've been a completely different match."
Despite the early setback in doubles, the Bruins still put up a strong fight in singles, getting off to a solid start by winning the first set in three of six matches. After Baylor took a 2-0 lead when Rux beat freshman Clay Thompson in straight sets at court No. 3, UCLA answered back with two victories of its own. Puget downed Maytin, 7-6, 6-2 at court No. 4, and Inbar outlasted Ramirez, 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 2 position to tie the dual match at 2-2.
Baylor then regained the lead when Bley downed UCLA sophomore Maxime Tabatruong, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 at court No. 6.
After Tabatruong's loss, the Bruins found themselves needing to win the final two matches to pull off the upset. Kosakowski tied the match at 3-3 when he downed John Peers, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 at court No. 1. That meant that the match would ultimately be decided at court No. 5, where Seguso and Grangeiro were heading to a third-set tiebreaker. Despite facing four match points, Grangeiro was able to work his way back into the tiebreaker, eventually winning the match 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(8) to send his team into the quarterfinals.
Seguso was on the opposite end of a third-set tiebreaker last week in the second round, as his victory at court No. 5 clinched a 4-3 UCLA win over Ole Miss.
It marks the eighth-straight 4-3 score in the UCLA-Baylor series. The Bears lead the all-time series 7-3. UCLA beat Baylor, 4-3 in Waco earlier this year.
#5 Baylor 4, #11 UCLA 3
May 19, 2011 at Stanford, CA (Taube South Courts)
|1. #5 Maytin/Peers (BAY) def. #32 Alex Brigham/Puget (UCLA) 9-7|
|2. #52 Ramirez/Rux (BAY) def. #57 Warren Hardie/Inbar (UCLA) 8-5|
|3. Kosakowski/Seguso (UCLA) def. Bley/Grangeiro (BAY) 8-3|
|1. #37 Daniel Kosakowski (UCLA) def. #19 John Peers (BAY) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4|
|2. #58 Amit Inbar (UCLA) def. #68 Sergio Ramirez (BAY) 6-7, 6-2, 6-2|
|3. Jordan Rux (BAY) def. #79 Clay Thompson (UCLA) 7-6, 6-1|
|4. #103 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. #102 Roberto Maytin (BAY) 7-6, 6-2|
|5. #97 Kike Grangeiro (BAY) def. Holden Seguso (UCLA) 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(8)|
|6. Dennis Lengsfeld (BAY) def. Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-0|
|UCLA 18-7; National ranking #11|
|Baylor 22-4; National ranking #5|
|Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,4,2,6,1,5)|