Coming off a big loss to No. 1 USC, the No. 3 men’s tennis team will get a chance to work on its doubles game as it travels down to La Jolla.
After being defeated 6-1 by the Trojans on Wednesday, the Bruins will compete in the 123rd Pacific Coast Doubles Championships this weekend, which is held annually at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
The second-oldest U.S. tennis tournament features only doubles play, where college and open players will compete for the same title.
The team will have a chance to sharpen their doubles, which they have struggled with at times this season. In the match against USC, UCLA lost all three doubles matchups.
“It’s a little bit more relaxed. It’s at a beautiful place down in La Jolla,” coach Billy Martin said. “I think for us it’s very important, because this is obviously the area we have to improve upon the most.”
Since this tournament is not an official ITA-sanctioned event, the results will not count toward player records or rankings.
The Bruin teams that will be competing this weekend include: redshirt senior Nick Meister and sophomore Adrien Puget; redshirt junior Alex Brigham and freshman Marcos Giron; freshman Dennis Mkrtchian and junior Maxime Tabatruong; and junior Warren Hardie and sophomore Clay Thompson.
“I’m excited for that,” Giron said. “This should be fun. Me and Alex have been playing well together. We’ll see how it is.”
UCLA assistant coach Kris Kwinta will also be competing in the tournament with ATP Tour veteran Jeff Tarango.
As the Bruins get ready for this tournament, they realize they need to use this weekend as a chance to improve their game for when it really counts in matches later this season.
“I don’t really think of it as a challenge, I just think of it as an opportunity to get better,” Meister said. “It’s going to be not that much pressure, but me and Adrien (Puget) are going to be able to work some things out. We didn’t do the best job (against USC) in doubles, so we need to work out some kinks.”
When asked what he is looking to see from his players this weekend, Martin simply said:
“Good wins and good doubles play.”
With this in mind, the Bruins clearly head to La Jolla with a goal of returning with a refined doubles game that will be critical to their success for the rest of the season.