The best way to forget about a bad day is to move on to the next day.
That’s exactly what UCLA men’s tennis did.
After losing to crosstown rival USC 1-4 Thursday, No. 13 Bruins (9-4) bounced back to rout No. 9 Baylor Bears (13-3) 4-0 Saturday evening.
Coach Billy Martin didn’t hold back singing his team’s praises.
“Best match of the year by far,” Martin said.
A major difference from the previous game was the start in the singles. After losing four of the six first sets against USC, UCLA won five of the six against Baylor.
“We were the more fired up team,” said junior Logan Staggs, who secured UCLA’s first singles point with a straight-sets win on court four. “Everyone came ready to play.”
This was especially the case for UCLA’s top two players, senior Gage Brymer and junior Martin Redlicki.
Both players won their singles matches in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.
“Gage played the best match of his college career,” Martin said. “The smartest match I’ve ever seen him play. He stuck to the game plan very well.”
After a very poor performance against USC according to Martin, No. 42 Redlicki beat No. 35 Max Tchoutakian on the No. 2 singles court.
Redlicki said that his game plan was to not give his opponent much pace and to selectively attack the right balls.
“I tried not to hit hard on every shot because that is what he wants,” Redlicki said.
After smashing a forehand winner down the baseline to break in the second set after a 25-odd hit rally, he turned back to the crowd and exclaimed, “That was one of the best points of my career.”
UCLA also experienced a resurgence in doubles after losing the doubles point in the last five matches.
Sophomore Maxime Cressy and freshman Ben Goldberg, playing in only their second dual match together, came through for the Bruins as they sealed the doubles point with a 6-3 win.
Brymer also performed well in his doubles game with his partner, junior Austin Rapp. After trailing 1-3, they managed to come back to lead 5-4, though the set didn’t finish after the Bruins secured the doubles point on courts one and three.
“Our doubles game is finally coming together a little bit,” Redlicki said. “The work we’ve been putting in the doubles and net game is starting to pay off.”