April 3, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Playing without two of its top players due to injury, the No. 9 UCLA men's tennis team nearly knocked off No. 7 Stanford on Saturday afternoon, dropping a close 4-3 decision at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
UCLA, which lost the doubles point for the first time in seven matches on Saturday, actually fell behind 3-1 in the dual match after Stanford notched a pair of straight-set singles wins at court Nos. 1 and 6. The lone win for the Bruins early came at court No. 4, where senior Kallim Stewart was a 7-6, 6-1 winner over Richard Wire.
Freshman Maxime Tabatruong was able to cut the lead to 3-2 when he notched a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory over fellow freshman Denis Lin at court No. 5.
Tabatruong's victory provided a huge momentum shift for the Bruins, who were fighting to stay in the match at court Nos. 2 and 3.
With the pro-UCLA crowd all focused on the stadium courts, Bruin junior Amit Inbar worked his way to a 5-4 advantage in the third against Stanford's Alex Clayton at court No. 2. Right next door at court No. 3, senior Matt Brooklyn was on serve in the second set after taking the first against Ryan Thacher.
A UCLA win seemed inevitable at one point, as both Inbar and Brooklyn held match points at the very same time. Brooklyn would be the first to finish, as he pulled out a second-set tiebreaker over Thacher, winning 7-6, 7-6 to make the score 3-3.
Inbar, however, wasn't able to capitalize on his two match points on Clayton's serve, and the Cardinal junior was able to even things up at 5-5. Clayton then broke Inbar in the very next game before serving out the match for a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 win, giving the Cardinal (12-5; 2-1 Pac-10) a 4-3 victory.
A huge bright spot for the Bruins on the day came at No. 1 doubles, where Inbar and teammate Nick Meister upset the nation's top-ranked team of Bradley Klahn and Thacher, 8-4.
UCLA continues Pac-10 play next week in Arizona. The Bruins and Wildcats are scheduled to face off at 1:00 p.m. in Tucson.
#7 Stanford 4, #9 UCLA 3
Apr 03, 2010 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
1. #41 Inbar/Meister (UCLA) def. #1 Klahn/Thacher (STAN) 8-4 2. #31 Clayton/Wire (STAN) def. Brigham/Tabatruong (UCLA) 8-0 3. Matt Kandath/Lin (STAN) def. Brooklyn/Stewart (UCLA) 8-4 Singles
1. #5 Bradley Klahn (STAN) def. #89 Nick Meister (UCLA) 6-3, 6-3 2. #45 Alex Clayton (STAN) def. #102 Amit Inbar (UCLA) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 3. #52 Matt Brooklyn (UCLA) def. #93 Ryan Thacher (STAN) 7-6, 7-6 4. Kallim Stewart (UCLA) def. Richard Wire (STAN) 7-6, 6-1 5. Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) def. Denis Lin (STAN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 6. Greg Hirshman (STAN) def. Alex Brigham (UCLA) 6-4, 6-4 Match Notes
Stanford 12-5; 2-1 Pac-10; National ranking #7 UCLA 12-5; 3-1 Pac-10; National ranking #9 Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,4,6,5,3,2)