Playing together for the first time was not a problem for freshman Ben Goldberg and sophomore Maxime Cressy.
This weekend, the UCLA men’s tennis team traveled to La Jolla, California, to partake in the 128th Annual Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship. The Bruins sent four doubles teams to the tournament, consisting of senior Michael Guzman and sophomore Daniel Gealer, Goldberg and Cressy, freshman Evan Zhu and junior Martin Redlicki, and redshirt senior Nishanth Yamani and senior Travis Martin.
Goldberg and Cressy, despite not having played together in doubles before, partnered well together, according to coach Billy Martin. They reached the semifinals of the tournament as the ninth seed, losing to Stanford’s Jack Barber and William Genesen 6-4, 7-5.
“They played exceptionally well,” Billy Martin said. “I didn’t think they would play that well, as they never really played together that much.”
Goldberg cited his and Cressy’s off-court chemistry as a huge reason for why they did so well in the tournament as first-time partners.
“I felt we were just clicking all the time, and we have good chemistry off the court. We hang out a lot off the court so it was really good for us,” Goldberg said Sunday. “We played outstanding yesterday. But today, we played a team that wasn’t going to beat us with power and quickness on the court. I think we played a great tournament to be honest.”
In their previous matches, Goldberg and Cressy didn’t drop a single set, including a match against USC’s Jack Jaede and Robbie Bellamy in the quarterfinals, which the Bruins won 7-6(2), 7-5.
On the other side of the draw, Zhu and Redlicki also lost in a semifinal match to Oklahoma State’s Lucas Gerch and Arjun Kadhe 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
“We could’ve played a little bit better,” Redlicki said. “We needed to improve on first-serve percentage and returning first serves.”
The Bruins came into the tournament having lost their last four doubles points in dual-match play and looked forward to the additional doubles practice.
“It gave us a lot of doubles play and practice,” Martin said. “It’s so short and sweet. I think we’ll play better in the doubles side of things in the future.”
Guzman and Gealer lost in the round of 64 to independents Peter and Colter Smith 8-6 and Travis Martin and Yamani lost in the round of 128 to the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’s Glenn Hull and Jay Yeam 8-4.