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Novikov, Sell to Join UCLA Men's Tennis Team
By: UCLA Athletics

March 1, 2012

LOS ANGELES - UCLA head coach Billy Martin is proud to announce the arrival of two mid-year additions to the Bruin tennis program, as both Dennis Novikov of the U.S. and Karue Sell of Brazil have signed Statements of Intent to Register at UCLA for the Spring Quarter. The two players, who will be freshmen, are eligible to join the team beginning on March 24.

Dennis Novikov (Getty Images)

"We're excited and fortunate to have two outstanding players who will be joining us mid-year," said Martin, whose team is currently ranked No. 3 in the country. "I think both players will be able to step in and make an immediate difference in the singles and doubles lineups. Their arrival will definitely make us stronger, giving us an even better chance to contend for this year's NCAA Championship."

Novikov, from San Jose, Calif., has played in all four of the Junior Grand Slams, with his best result coming at the 2010 U.S. Open, where he reached the quarterfinals in singles. He attained a career-high combined ITF junior ranking of No. 30 in the world in January of 2011. According to the website, he was listed as the No. 2 overall recruit in the class of 2011 just behind current UCLA freshman Marcos Giron. Novikov was a quarterfinalist at last year's USTA National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., falling to the top-seeded Giron. In addition to his impressive junior results, Novikov has focused mainly on playing professional-level tournaments on the ITF Futures Circuit for the last six months. He recently teamed with former UCLA player Daniel Kosakowski to claim the doubles title at a 10k event in Weston, Fla.

"I'm just really excited to start college and join the team," said Novikov. "Hopefully I can contribute and help this team win NCAAs. I'm looking forward to beginning this next phase of my tennis career."

Karue Sell (Getty Images)

Sell, from Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, also has an extensive junior resume, participating in the junior draws at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and U.S. Open. His best result in a Grand Slam event came at the 2011 Australian Open, where he reached the semifinals in doubles with American Mitchell Krueger. His best Grand Slam singles showing came when he reached the round of 16 at the 2010 U.S. Open. He has also advanced to the semifinals in singles at the prestigious Orange Bowl Junior Championships (16s), and claimed the singles title at the 2010 Uruguay Bowl. Sell achieved a career-high combined junior ranking of No. 33 in the world in July of 2011. Like Novikov, he has played a number of ITF Futures events, mostly in his native Brazil.

"UCLA is one of the most respected universities in the world so I'm obviously very excited to become a Bruin," said Sell. "I'm going to do my best to make the team better and hopefully we can achieve great things during my time there. It's going to be a major experience for me and I'm excited to get started."

The first match that Novikov and Sell will be eligible to participate in will be on March 27 when UCLA hosts Loyola Marymount.

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