The Bruins will be splitting up again to compete in two fall tournaments this weekend.
UCLA men’s tennis will send four players to the Jack Kramer Fall Invitational and four players to the Larry Easley Memorial Classic, hosted in Rolling Hills Estates, California, and Las Vegas respectively.
The Bruins have freshmen Max Wild and Roscoe Bellamy as well as sophomore Bryce Pereira and redshirt sophomore Connor Rapp traveling to the Jack Kramer Memorial Classic, while freshmen Eric Hahn and Mathew Tsolakyan and sophomores Keegan Smith and Connor Hance will be participating in the Larry Easley Memorial Classic.
Coach Billy Martin said that the Bruins are working on individual aspects of their game, as well as using the fall season to catch up on conditioning.
“We do a lot more conditioning work during the fall … the guys are starting conditioning and having to play these fall individual tournaments, their legs are tired and they haven’t been lifting as much as we would like them to in the summer,” Martin said. “Most guys are tired by the time they go into these tournaments on the weekend. But, it’s all building on being ready for January.”
Smith won the Jack Kramer Classic last season and will be the No. 1-seeded player in the tournament, facing SMU’s Carles Sarrio in the first round of singles. No. 5-seeded Hahn will face the winner of Georgetown’s Ian Witmer or Washington’s Sebastien Hawken in singles.
Hahn will be paired with Tsolakyan in doubles as the No. 3-seeded team, facing Georgetown’s Ian Witmer and Michael Chen or BYU’s Sean Hill and Jeffrey Hsu. The No. 1-seeded duo of Smith and Hance will play the winner of LMU’s Chase Brannen and Adil Khan and BYU’s Vinicius Nogueira and Matthew Pearce.
Wild and Pereira advanced to the second round of the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships last week and Wild said that he has a chance to log more matches and acclimate to college tennis.
“I’m looking forward to playing more matches against college players,” Wild said. “I’m still working on a lot more things so I’m looking forward to getting out there this weekend in Vegas. I played really good doubles last weekend, so I think that’s a positive going into this week.”
Rapp retired from a match in the main draw of the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships last weekend due to an ankle injury. He said that although UCLA has a busy fall schedule, injuries aren’t typical.
“(I’m) working hard to get back healthy and play in Las Vegas,” Rapp said. “Honestly, an injury like this was a total fluke. It wasn’t an overuse thing or playing too much, (so there was) nothing I could have done to prevent it.”
The Bruins will begin play Thursday and conclude match play Sunday at the latest.