Tuesday, May 26

Bruins abound at US Open as former and current UCLA tennis players take to court

Incoming UCLA women's tennis freshman Abby Forbes took home the doubles title in the USTA Billie Jean King Girls' 18s National Championship with her partner Alexa Noel. The tournament win gave Forbes and Noel a direct berth into the US Open women's doubles main draw. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)

NEW YORK — The 2019 US Open will feature a lot of Bruin blue and gold.

Incoming UCLA’s women’s tennis freshman Abigail Forbes will compete, along with former Bruins Jennifer Brady and Abigail Spears. UCLA men’s tennis rising sophomore Govind Nanda and rising junior Keegan Smith, as well as graduates Maxime Cressy, Marcos Giron and Jean-Julien Rojer are slated to compete on the men’s side.

Forbes qualified for the US Open by winning the doubles title in the USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 18s National Championships – held from Aug. 3-11 – with her partner Alexa Noel, a rising high school senior from New Jersey. No. 13-seeded Forbes and Noel knocked off both the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds en route to the title in the 128-team bracket.

With the win, the duo was automatically placed in the women’s doubles main draw as a wild card. Forbes will also likely compete in girls’ singles at the US Open.

Nanda earned himself a place in the men’s qualifying singles draw of the US Open through his play at the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships in singles. As the No. 5 seed, Nanda made his way to the final with four three-set victories, including over the No. 4 seed Cannon Kingsley, but fell to No. 6 Zachary Svajda in the best-of-five-sets title match.

His runner-up status secured Nanda the chance to play for a main-draw berth in men’s singles, where he fell to Germany’s Oscar Otte 7-6(4), 6-1 in the first round of qualifying. After his exit, Nanda will likely play in the US Open boys’ singles and doubles. Nanda finished runner-up in boys’ doubles at Wimbledon earlier this year with his partner from Canada, Liam Draxl.

Cressy, who graduated in 2019, also bowed out in the first round of men’s qualifying singles, losing to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 5-7, 1-6. Cressy received a wild card into the qualifying draw after his performances in multiple ATP Challenger Tour and ITF tournaments earlier in the summer.

Cressy also received a wild card into the men’s doubles main draw – with Smith as his partner – after the two won the 2019 NCAA men’s tennis doubles title in May. The UCLA duo of graduates Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield – who won the 2019 NCAA women’s tennis doubles final – were not given a wild card because the NCAA wild cards are reserved for U.S. players and Broomfield is a Canadian citizen.

Robin Anderson, who played with the Bruins from 2011 to 2015, competed in the women’s singles qualifying draw. After winning her first-round matchup 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 over Xinyun Han, Anderson withdrew from the tournament before her second-round faceoff with fellow American Nicole Gibbs.

Former Bruins Brady and Giron, who played from 2013 to 2015 and from 2011 to 2014, respectively, both earned berths into their respective singles main draws when the women’s and men’s draws were announced Friday.

Brady – who is ranked No. 67 in the world – will begin her tournament against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Brady previously reached the round of 16 at the US Open in 2017.

Giron, ranked No. 151 in singles, was given a wild card into the singles main draw and will face Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round. After multiple hip surgeries early into his professional career, Giron has been healthy since September 2016 and worked his way back into the top 200 after dropping to No. 768.

Former UCLA players Rojer, who played from 1999-2002, Matkowski, who played from 2000 to 2002, Spears, who played in 1999, and Brady will be competing in the doubles draws announced Sunday.

Rojer will enter ranked No. 16 playing with longtime doubles partner Horia Tecau. The duo has won multiple Grand Slam titles together, including the 2017 US Open.

Spears is ranked as the No. 41 doubles player in the world on the women’s side, and has won 21 women’s doubles titles. She has also advanced to three Grand Slam mixed doubles finals, including two at the US Open in 2013 and 2014, and a championship win at the Australian Open in 2017.

Former Bruin Mackenzie McDonald – who competed for UCLA from 2013 to 2016 – will be a guest TV commentator while he is out with an injury. McDonald had knee surgery in June shortly after he reached a career-high ranking of No. 57 in singles in April.


Maikis joined the Bruin as a freshman in 2018 and contributed until 2019. He was an assistant Sports editor in 2019 and contributed for the football, men's basketball, men's tennis, women's tennis and men's water polo beats.

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