LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men's tennis team kicked off its 2013 dual-match season on Wednesday afternoon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, dispatching of local rival UC Santa Barbara by a 6-1 score.
Fresh off a successful appearance at last week's Sherwood Collegiate Cup, where he reached the final, junior Adrien Puget cruised in his singles match on Wednesday, downing Benjamin Recknagel, 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 1 position. It marked his first-ever match at the No. 1 spot for the Bruins.
Playing next door at court No. 2, Marcos Giron was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over UCSB's Mbonisi Ndimande. Giron is UCLA's highest-ranked singles player, checking in at No. 12 in the latest ITA Rankings released on Jan. 3. The Bruins' other ranked singles player, No. 41 Dennis Mkrtchian, was also victorious, losing just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Ziad Sultan at court No. 4.
Karue Sell, who was playing in his first dual match for the Bruins after redshirting last season, was the only other straight-set winner for UCLA on the day, as the Brazilian downed Andrew Riminton, 6-1, 6-3 at court No. 6.
Junior Clay Thompson, who was sidelined for much of the fall due to injury, made a successful return to the courts on Wednesday, overcoming Alexander Gryaznov in a third-set super tiebreaker, 7-6(5), 3-6, (10-6).
UCSB's only win on the afternoon came at court No. 3, where Alex Bouillin upset sophomore Dennis Novikov, 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.
UCLA dominated doubles play, cruising to 8-1 and 8-2 wins at court Nos. 3 and 1, respectively. Court No. 2 was suspended once the point had been clinched.
The Bruins are in action again at the Los Angeles Tennis Center this Friday, taking on Cal Poly at 1:00 p.m. The match is part of ITA Kick Off Weekend, an event that serves as a qualifier for next month's ITA National Team Indoors. If the Bruins win on Friday, they will take on the winner of South Florida and BYU on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
#3 UCLA 6, #68 UCSB 1
Jan 23, 2013 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
1. Giron/Novikov (UCLA) def. Ndimande/Recknagel (UCSB) 8-2
2. Puget/Sell (UCLA) vs. Bouillin/Gryaznov (UCSB) 6-4, unfinished
3. Alex Brigham/Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Riminton/Sultan (UCSB) 8-1
UCLA Wins Doubles Point
1. Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) 6-2, 6-1
2. #12 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. Mbonisi Ndimande (UCSB) 6-4, 6-4
3. Alex Bouillin (UCSB) def. Dennis Novikov (UCLA) 7-5, 1-6, 6-3
4. #41 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) 6-2, 6-0
5. Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. Alexander Gryaznov (UCSB) 7-6(5), 3-6, (10-6)
6. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Andrew Riminton (UCSB) 6-1, 6-3
UCSB 1-1; National ranking #68
UCLA 1-0; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (4,1,6,2,3,5)