LOS ANGELES - The top-seeded UCLA men's tennis team kicked off the NCAA Tournament in dominating fashion on Friday afternoon, posting a 4-0 victory over UMKC in a first-round match at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the win, UCLA (25-1) moves on to Saturday's second round where it will meet Drake (25-3) at 3:00 p.m. The Bulldogs beat TCU, 4-1 in their first-round match on Friday morning.
UCLA did not have any players lose more than two games in any singles match against Drake, with the three matches that finished losing a combined one game. Sophomore Marcos Giron got things started for the Bruins in singles, downing Nino Hasandedic, 6-0, 6-0 at court No. 1. That win was closely followed by another 6-0, 6-0 victory, this time by Karue Sell, who beat Tim Akhmedov at court No. 5.
Just like he did in UCLA's 4-2 victory over USC in the Pac-12 Tournament final, junior Clay Thompson posted the clinching win yet again on Friday, as he beat Andrey Smirnov, 6-0, 6-1 at court No. 4 to give the Bruins an insurmountable 4-0 lead.
UCLA's Adrien Puget, Dennis Mkrtchian and Maxime Tabatruong had all won first sets and were leading in the second sets of their matches when play was suspended.
The Bruins began the day by claiming the doubles point with wins at court Nos. 1 and 3.
Tickets for Saturday's second round at $7 for adults and $5 for youth/students. The winner of the UCLA-Drake match will earn a trip to Champaign, Ill. for the NCAA Round of 16, which kicks off on May 16 at the University of Illinois.
NCAA First Round
#1 UCLA 4, UMKC 0
May 10, 2013 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
1. Puget/Sell (UCLA) def. Alawadhi/Fleming (UMKC) 8-3
2. Giron/Tabatruong (UCLA) vs. Edwards/David Heckler (UMKC) 7-3, unfinished
3. Alex Brigham/Thompson (UCLA) def. Akhmedov/Hasandedic (UMKC) 8-1
UCLA Wins Doubles Point
1. #25 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. Nino Hasandedic (UMKC) 6-0, 6-0
2. #22 Adrien Puget (UCLA) vs. Abdul Alawadhi (UMKC) 6-2, 2-0, unfinished
3. #75 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) vs. Grant Fleming (UMKC) 6-1, 2-1, unfinished
4. #119 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. Andrey Smirnov (UMKC) 6-0, 6-1
5. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Tim Akhmedov (UMKC) 6-0, 6-0
6. Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) vs. Conner Edwards (UMKC) 6-1, 3-0, unfinished
UCLA 25-1; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,5,4)
UCLA advances to meet Drake in NCAA 2nd Round on Saturday at 3:00 PM