Men’s tennis sweeps UC Irvine 7-0


UCLA junior Holden Seguso smacks a serve in the Bruins' dual-meet win against San Diego State Saturday. UCLA defeated the UC Irvine Anteaters Tuesday, 7-0.

UCLA junior Holden Seguso smacks a serve in the Bruins' dual-meet win against San Diego State Saturday. UCLA defeated the UC Irvine Anteaters Tuesday, 7-0. Chris Eldredge


If Westwood had a casino, UCLA men’s tennis coach Billy Martin could probably start working night shifts as a dealer.

Every year around this time, Martin begins shuffling around the players in his lineup, just trying to get all his cards in order before making the big push for the conference season.

The Bruins had lost the doubles point in their three previous matches, so Martin concerned himself with finding a combination of partners that would start the day off right.

And on Tuesday afternoon, UCLA came up all aces as they dispatched UC Irvine, 7-0.

“In the early part of the season, we’re just trying to find which (pair) gels best,” Martin said.

Martin did not succeed in his plan to split redshirt senior Haythem Abid and junior Nick Meister, whom he considers to be his best doubles players, in an effort to cover more ground. Now he’s got the band back together again on the first doubles court and Abid and Meister have made quick work of their opponents, beating UCI’s No. 1 team, 8-6, on Tuesday, three days after winning 8-3 against San Diego State.

“It’s good to get the rhythm on,” Abid said.

In singles, Martin is still deciding how to order the middle of his lineup, so he’s giving a few players a shot at a spot on the stadium side of the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

“We’ve got a lot of guys congested right there, mainly guys that don’t deserve to play (No.) 5 all the time,” Martin said.

Thursday, he gave the No. 3 slot to Amit Inbar, and the junior from Tel Aviv, Israel cashed in with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over the Anteaters’ Zac Tsai.

“Boy, what a great job,” Martin said. “He stepped out very excited and did a good job.”

With rainy weather interfering with early season competition, Martin said he’s glad the team was able to get two good home match victories in the last few days to build confidence.

“We just need to play some matches,” Martin said. “And I’d say Holden (Seguso) is probably No. 1 on my list,”

The junior from Bradenton, Fla. had not won a match in seven tries when he stepped onto Court No. 2 on Thursday. After a rocky start, Seguso pulled out the first set in a tiebreaker and then closed out the victory in the second.

“It felt good not to lose,” Seguso joked. “But each match I’ve been getting better and better.”

The Bruins leave tomorrow for weekend matches against Pac-10 foes No. 14 Stanford and No. 15 California.

“(This win) was important to us,” Martin said. “Hopefully it will send us up to the Bay Area with a little more confidence and a little bit better experience.”

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit


Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.