March 6, 2012
Indian Wells, Calif. - One future Bruin and two former UCLA men's tennis players were all in action on Tuesday as qualifying for the 2012 BNP Paribas Open got underway in Indian Wells, Calif.
Daniel Kosakowski, who turned pro following his freshman season at UCLA in 2011, was the only one of the three players to advance to Wednesday's second round, as he upset 162nd-ranked and 22nd-seeded Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland, 7-6(5), 6-3. It was a significant win for Kosakowski, who checks in at No. 400 in this week's ATP Tour computer rankings. Kosakowski will qualify for the main draw if he can get past fourth-seeded Paolo Lorenzi of Italy on Wednesday.
UCLA's other two players in the qualifying draw didn't fare as well on Tuesday, as both Dennis Novikov and Haythem Abid lost their opening-round matches. Novikov, who will enroll at UCLA for the Spring Quarter, opened up the qualifying against 125th-ranked Thomas Schoorel of the Netherlands. Despite owning several set points in the second set tiebreaker, Novikov eventually suffered a 6-1, 7-6(7) loss to the higher-ranked Schoorel. Novikov had earned a spot in Tuesday's qualifying draw by winning a prequalifying tournament last week. His first match in a Bruin uniform will likely be against Loyola Marymount on March 27.
Abid, who actually lost in the prequalifying final to Novikov but earned a spot in the qualifying draw when another player pulled out, fell to 15th-seeded Michael Russell of the U.S., 6-2, 6-2. Abid, from Tunisia, was a four-year letterman at UCLA from 2006-10.
More information about the 2012 BNP Paribas Open can be found on the Official Tournament Website.