May 16, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 9 UCLA men's tennis team survived an early scare in doubles and then cruised in singles play on Sunday, dispatching of No. 17 Cal, 4-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the win, UCLA (16-6) advances to next week's round of 16 in Athens, Ga. and will face No. 8 Stanford on Friday at Noon (EST). The Cardinal downed Pepperdine, 4-0 in their second-round match.
Sunday's doubles point couldn't have been any closer, with the Bruins needing a miraculous comeback at court No. 2 to pull it out. After both teams traded lopsided victories at court Nos. 1 and 3, all attention then focused on court No. 2, where Cal's Chris Konigsfeldt and Nick Andrews were leading UCLA's Haythem Abid and Matt Brooklyn. Cal actually owned a 5-2 lead in that match - and even held a match point with Andrews serving up 7-4 - but failed to close it out. UCLA's seniors responded to the pressure, fighting off that match point before eventually reelling off five straight games to close out the match 9-7.
"We were so lucky to win the doubles point and I though it was really the turning point in the match to be quite honest," said UCLA head coach Billy Martin. "It is hard to imagine that it didn't take the wind out of their sails a little bit heading into singles. I think it woke us up and made us refocus in singles."
Appearing deflated from losing the doubles point, Cal just wasn't the same team in singles. The Golden Bears fell behind early on all six courts, eventually going down 0-2 when Brooklyn beat Andrews, 6-1, 6-0 at court No. 3. UCLA would take a 3-0 lead not long after, as Abid notched a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Konigsfeldt at court No. 2.
Freshman Maxime Tabatruong would get the clinching win for the Bruins, as he downed Riki McLachlan, 6-2, 6-3 at court No. 6 to send UCLA to the round of 16. At the time of Tabatruong's match-clinching win, Amit Inbar was just a game away from closing out Jonathan Dahan at court No. 5.
It marks UCLA's third win over Cal (13-8) this year, as the Bruins had previously beaten the Golden Bears by scores of 4-3 and 5-2 during the regular season.
UCLA has now reached the round of 16 every year since the team format was adopted in 1977.
The Bruins and Cardinal played an extremely close match at the Los Angeles Tennis Center earlier in the year, with Stanford pulling out a 4-3 win.
"It's going to be a really tough match for us," said Martin of next week's round of 16 encounter. "We had a great match here earlier in the year and I expect the same in Athens. They are a great team and I have a lot of respect for their program. Hopefully today woke us up and got us going, and reminded us what these matches are all about."
#9 UCLA 4, #17 California 0
May 16, 2010 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
NCAA Second Round
1. #16 Inbar/Meister (UCLA) def. #30 Dahan/Zerbini (CAL) 8-1 2. Abid/Brooklyn (UCLA) def. #67 Andrews/Konigsfeldt (CAL) 9-7 3. Katsarov/Sky Lovill (CAL) def. Alex Brigham/Seguso (UCLA) 8-3 Singles
1. #71 Nick Meister (UCLA) vs. #18 Pedro Zerbini (CAL) 6-3, 2-5, unfinished 2. #51 Haythem Abid (UCLA) def. Chris Konigsfeldt (CAL) 6-3, 6-2 3. #58 Matt Brooklyn (UCLA) def. Nick Andrews (CAL) 6-1, 6-0 4. #117 Amit Inbar (UCLA) vs. Jonathan Dahan (CAL) 6-3, 5-3, unfinished 5. Holden Seguso (UCLA) vs. Bozhidar Katsarov (CAL) 6-1, 4-6, 0-1, unfinished 6. Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) def. Riki McLachlan (CAL) 6-2, 6-3 Match Notes
California 13-8; National ranking #17 UCLA 16-6; National ranking #9 Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,2,6) UCLA advances to face Stanford in next week's round of 16 in Athens, Ga.