After 23 years on the sideline, UCLA men’s tennis coach Billy Martin reached a historic 500-win record Wednesday afternoon, placing him as one of the winningest coaches in collegiate tennis history.
The No. 12 Bruins blanked the University of San Francisco Dons 7-0 in the season-opening dual match to push their coach to that mark.
“I’m sure there has been 100 losses, too. For all the good wins, and many of them, it’s still kind of humbling because you’ve got lots of losses, too,” Martin said. “I don’t take much special credit for 500. It’s been a long career. It’s good that they’ve kept me here this long.”
The Bruins were commanding in both their doubles and singles play for the match.
Sophomore Martin Redlicki had an especially strong performance on the day, as he and freshman Maxime Cressy beat USF’s Tynan Maguire and Thomas Takemoto 6-2 in doubles play. In singles play, Redlicki defeated Nils Skajaa in straight sets, tacking on another point for the team.
“Of course it’s good after Sherwood, having bad losses (there), and it’s nice to get a win under my belt pretty quick,” Redlicki said. “I started finding my rhythm a little bit later in the match. Started a bit shaky in the beginning but as the match went on it got better and better.”
Redlicki lost in the first round of the Sherwood Collegiate Cup last weekend to Stanford’s Nolan Paige. Martin said over the weekend that he believed Redlicki did not give Paige enough credit as a player, and he was not as prepared as he could have been. Today, Martin said that Redlicki seemed better prepared.
“He committed to me that that will never happen again while he’s here at UCLA, which I was happy to hear,” Martin said.“Good lesson learned – it didn’t hurt the team, it hurt him and his individual singles ranking. I doubt it’s going to happen again.”
Sophomore Logan Staggs captured his first match victory since transferring from Northwestern, defeating USF’s Ryan Marker 6-2, 6-2 in singles play.
“This was my first dual match as a Bruin and for me it was my first dual match outside, so it was a little different for me,” Staggs said. “We were in Illinois and all we would play were Big Ten teams for dual matches … Going out there and seeing the sun for the first time was a little weird.”
The Bruins, now 1-0, will host the SMU Mustangs on Saturday in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-off Weekend.