Competing in his first tournament as a UCLA Bruin, freshman Marcos Giron kept his tournament hopes alive this week and moved on to the second round of qualifying at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla.
Giron came back from a set down to win against Wichita State’s Matheus Pereira on Tuesday. Giron lost the first set to Pereira in a tiebreaker, 6-7, but breezed past his opponent in the next two sets, 6-2, 6-1, to secure the win.
On Wednesday, Giron will face junior Nikola Bubnic of the University of San Diego in the second qualifying round. Bubnic was named WCC Player of the Month in March.
If Giron can move past Bubnic, he will earn a spot in the main draw, which begins play on Thursday.
Giron, who was ranked as the top recruit in the nation for the 2012 class by the Tennis Recruiting Network, doesn’t even show his picture yet on UCLA’s athletics website profile, but the freshman could make a name for himself at UCLA if he performs well this week and can advance a round or two in the main draw.
Also competing for UCLA in Tulsa on Thursday will be sophomores Adrien Puget and Clay Thompson, who were both able to skip the early qualifying rounds.
Instead, the sophomores begin play on Thursday in the main draw.
Redshirt junior Alex Brigham also competed in the qualifying rounds for UCLA and suffered a first-round loss to freshman Lars Behlen of Baylor. Behlen bested Brigham 6-2, 6-3 on Monday.
Brigham advanced to the quarterfinals in doubles at the Southern California Intercollegiates last year with his partner Daniel Kosakowski, who turned pro at the end of last season.
Meanwhile, back in California, the UCLA women’s tennis team has been playing at the Los Angeles Tennis Center in the ITA/Riviera Women’s All-American Championships.
Senior Carling Seguso competed in the pre-qualifying singles draw against Virginia’s Maria Fucillo on Saturday.
Seguso also competed in the qualifying doubles draw with freshman Sklyar Morton.
The other doubles team for the Bruins is comprised of redshirt junior Holly Fleming and freshman Kaitlin Ray. The experience will help prepare the freshmen for other tournaments to come this year.
Also in doubles, freshman Robin Anderson and senior McCall Jones competed against Nicole Kosakowski and Jordaan Sanford from Baylor, and sophomore Courtney Dolehide partnered up with junior Pamela Montez.
The ITA All-American Championships wrap up this weekend, and both teams will get a bit of a breather to prepare for their next big tournament.
Up next on the schedule for the women’s squad is the USTA/ITA Regionals in San Diego, starting on Oct. 20.
The men will compete in the ITA Regional Championships, which also start on Oct. 20, in Malibu.
Following the ITA Regionals, the men’s team will play at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at the Southern California Intercollegiates.
After their trip to San Diego, the women’s team will travel to Palm Springs to compete in the Desert Classic.
Compiled by Eric Peck, Bruin Sports senior staff.