Friday, February 21

Men’s tennis prepares for season with trio of tournaments

Junior men's tennis player Mackie McDonald lost in the first round of the Knoxville 2015 Challenger Wednesday morning. The event was his third Challenger of the fall season. (Hannah Ye/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Knoxville 2015 Challenger

Junior Mackie McDonald traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee this week to play in the Knoxville 2015 Challenger, receiving a wild card into the main singles draw.

He came up short Wednesday morning, however, losing in the first round of the main draw to Sekou Bangoura 6-4, 6-3.

McDonald, the No. 3 college player in the nation, is one of the few active college players in the country that are competing on the ATP tour. He said that one of the main reasons he was motivated to make the trip to Knoxville is because he has high hopes of competing as a professional tennis player after college.

“It’s almost like a transition step,” McDonald said. “I’m fortunate UCLA is allowing me to play these type of tournaments so I can keep competing at the level I want to play at and be at.”

McDonald also said that this advanced match experience would make him more competitive during the winter and spring for UCLA team play. This is the junior’s third Challenger event of the fall.

Sophomore men's tennis player Martin Redlicki is preparing to face Austin Smith of Georgia Thursday in the first round of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Championships. (Hannah Ye/Daily Bruin senior staff)

USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships

On Thursday, sophomore Martin Redlicki heads to Flushing Meadows, New York where he will face the intense speed of indoor tennis at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Championships.

Redlicki earned a spot at this prestigious tournament because of his victory against Logan Smith of USC in the finals of the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Championships earlier in October.

The Bruin sophomore will be facing stiff competition from other collegiate tennis players from around the country. Even though the competition is daunting, Redlicki said that he is confident in his ability to perform.

“I know that I’m here for a reason,” Redlicki said. “I can do well.”

The speed of the indoor playing environment will be a challenge for him since he is used to playing outdoors, Redlicki said.

“Indoor tennis is naturally a lot faster than outdoor tennis,” he said. “There is no wind. There (are) no elements to interfere with the ball. It just travels at a faster pace than it would outdoors.”

In order to compensate for these changes, Redlicki will be looking to make small adjustments in his serve and within his strategy. These changes will help him play to his strengths, and his weaknesses.

Even though Redlicki missed the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships, he feels ready to play his best tennis at this tournament after a hard week of practice and preparation at UCLA.

The tournament will play an important role for his singles ranking. Right now he is No. 57 in the country, and the competitors at the national indoor singles tournament are considered the top 32 players in the nation.

Redlicki is facing Austin Smith from Georgia. This match is a precursor of what is to come when the Bulldogs come to Westwood in late January, as a Redlicki and Smith matchup is possible in that meet.

Jack Kramer Classic

Various members of the UCLA men’s tennis team head to the Jack Kramer Classic in Palos Verdes, California this week where they look to gain valuable match experience before more competitive play in the winter and spring.

This tournament, like many in the fall, serves to prepare players for the dual match season starting in January. Redshirt senior Ryoto Tachi said that he is looking forward to the Kramer because it will give him the opportunity to redeem himself from previous tournaments.

“I haven’t had the results I quite wanted for the last three tournaments,” Tachi said. “It just gives me another shot at doing really well, getting some results and getting some wins in before the season starts.”

The tournament will feature singles play from Tachi, doubles play from senior Karue Sell and junior Joseph Di Giulio and doubles from junior Gage Brymer and freshman Maxime Cressy. Brymer, Cressy and Di Giulio will also be playing singles.

The Kramer Classic runs from Nov. 12 to Nov. 15.

Sports Producer for Video

Levin is a sports producer for Video. He was previously a contributor for Video and a reporter for Sports.

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