Feb. 17, 2012
Charlottesville, Va. - The eighth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team suffered its first loss of the season at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Friday afternoon, dropping a 4-2 first-round decision to No. 10 Duke at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. The Bruins (8-1) now move to the consolation draw and will meet No. 16 Tennessee (4-4) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (PST). The Volunteers suffered a 4-0 loss to top-seeded USC.
UCLA's Nick Meister and Adrien Puget picked up a huge victory for the Bruins in doubles on Friday, upsetting 13th-ranked Henrique Cunha and Fred Saba, 9-8 at court No. 1 to give UCLA the one point awarded for doubles play. In fact, all three doubles matches were decided by tiebreakers, with the Bruins taking a 9-8 win at court No. 2, followed by a 9-8 Duke victory at the No. 3 position.
Although doubles play was extremely close, the Blue Devils owned the better of singles play on Friday. UCLA's lone bright spot came at court No. 4, where Puget was able to post a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Saba. The win actually gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the match. Duke, however, reeled off four consecutive straight-set victories to take the match 4-2. The clinching point came down to a pair of freshmen battling at court No. 6, where Duke's Jason Tahir outlasted Dennis Mkrtchian, 6-4, 6-4.
The only match that didn't finish on Friday was at court No. 2, as Duke's Chris Mengel was up a set and leading 6-5 in the second over sophomore Clay Thompson when play was suspended.
Friday's first-round loss marked UCLA's earliest exit from main draw at the Indoors since 1998.
#10 Duke 4, #8 UCLA 2
ITA National Team Indoors (First Round)
Feb 17, 2012 at Charlottesville, VA (Boar's Head Sports Club)
|1. Meister/Puget (UCLA) def. #13 Cunha/Saba (DUKE) 9-8|
|2. Alex Brigham/Giron (UCLA) def. Chris Mengel/David Holland (DUKE) 9-8|
|3. Hemmeler/Wietoska (DUKE) def. Warren Hardie/Thompson (UCLA) 9-8|
|1. #2 Henrique Cunha (DUKE) def. #39 Nick Meister (UCLA) 6-2, 6-4|
|2. #70 Clay Thompson (UCLA) vs. #17 Chris Mengel (DUKE) 5-7, 5-6, unfinished|
|3. Torsten Wietoska (DUKE) def. #108 Marcos Giron (UCLA) 7-5, 7-5|
|4. #104 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. Fred Saba (DUKE) 6-4, 6-3|
|5. Raphael Hemmeler (DUKE) def. Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) 7-6, 6-2|
|6. Jason Tahir (DUKE) def. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) 6-4, 6-3|
|Duke 8-0; National ranking #10|
|UCLA 8-1; National ranking #8|
|Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,1,5,3,6)|