Aug. 31, 2012
Flushing, N.Y. - UCLA's Dennis Novikov put up a strong fight in the second round of singles play at the U.S. Open on Friday, however the Bruin sophomore lost a tough four-set battle with 31st seed Julien Benneteau of France at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center.
Novikov stormed out of the gate to take the first set 6-3, however the ATP Tour veteran Benneteau battled back, winning the next three sets for an eventual 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(1), 7-5 victory. Novikov was aiming for his second career Grand Slam victory after ousting Poland's Jerzy Janowicz in four sets in the first round on Tuesday.
On Saturday, Novikov and partner Michael Redlicki lost in the second round of doubles, falling to Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 6-1 7-5. Dodig and Melo are seeded No. 12 at the tournament. Despite the loss, Novikov and Redlicki did pick up a victory in New York, downing American's Michael Russell and Bobby Reynolds, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(7) in the first round.
Novikov earned a spot in the main draws of the U.S. Open this year after winning the Boys' 18s Nationals in Kalamazoo, Mich. earlier this month. He captured both the singles and doubles titles at the event, which is considered the strongest junior tournament in the country.