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Alexander Hoogmartens exits NCAA men’s tennis singles championship after 1st round

Freshman Alexander Hoogmartens looks out to the court as he prepares to serve. He was defeated in the first round of the NCAA singles championship in Illinois on Monday, his postseason debut with UCLA men’s tennis. (Chelsea Rose Westman/Daily Bruin staff)

By Zoe Moskowitz

May 25, 2022 11:43 a.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated Drew Baird is a senior. In fact, he is a junior.

This post was last updated May 26 at 12:30 a.m.

The lone Bruin to qualify for the NCAA tournament has been eliminated.

No. 35 freshman Alexander Hoogmartens was knocked out of the NCAA singles tournament Monday, effectively bringing the season to a close for UCLA men’s tennis. Hoogmartens lost in the first round to North Carolina’s No. 33 ​​Brian Cernoch 6-1, 6-1 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign, Illinois.

Hoogmartens was the first Bruin to qualify for the singles championship as a freshman since Govind Nanda in 2019. After wrapping up his first campaign in Westwood, Hoogmartens said he was excited for the opportunity as a young player.

“You could just feel the intensity on the courts,” Hoogmartens said. “It was a special feeling to be able to play here with such good tennis players, especially my first year, since not many tennis players get to say that.”

He represented UCLA’s only appearance on the national postseason stage, as the team was not selected to compete in the NCAA team championship for the first time under coach Billy Martin. The blue and gold was partly without junior Drew Baird, senior Patrick Zahraj and Hoogmartens this season, who were all sidelined at points throughout the year because of injury.

Hoogmartens had a leg injury which prevented him from playing in the last eight matches of the season. Monday marked the first match he played since April 9.

Martin said a lack of experience played a role in Hoogmartens’ early exit from the tournament.

“He was hitting the ball well but just had so little match experience in the last couple of months,” Martin said. “But it was a good experience for him to see the tournament. That will help him for next year. I would bet anything that he’ll be back here.”

UCLA ended the season with an overall record of 13-12 and a conference record of 2-4.

Martin said he is excited to see Hoogmartens play next year and is looking forward to having a healthy team.

“I am expecting great things from Alex, and I feel we’ll be a lot more competitive teamwise if everybody is healthy,” Martin said.

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Zoe Moskowitz | Sports contributor
Moskowitz is currently a Sports contributor on the men's tennis beat. She was previously a reporter on the men's water polo beat.
Moskowitz is currently a Sports contributor on the men's tennis beat. She was previously a reporter on the men's water polo beat.
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