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In its season opener, UCLA men’s tennis loses tight sets to No. 19 Texas A&M

Giacomo Revelli celebrates after winning a point. The junior secured the Bruins’ first singles point of the day in straight sets. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Men's Tennis


No. 19 Texas A&M4
UCLA3

By Jeremy Chen

Jan. 20, 2024 3:21 p.m.

The mist evaporated, and so did the mirage of a Bruin win.

UCLA men’s tennis (0-1) fell to No. 19 Texas A&M (1-0) 4-3 in its season opener Wednesday at Los Angeles Tennis Center. A light drizzle forced the teams to pause all matches about 30 minutes into singles play, but the moisture subsided and competition resumed 10 minutes later.

At that point, the Bruins were up in three of the six first sets and tied in another. Despite dropping the doubles point, they still had a chance to deliver a statement win over a top-25 team.

But that prospect eventually washed away.

The Aggies stayed close and took three of the first sets, which propelled them to the three singles match victories they needed to clinch the overall win.

Alexander Hoogmartens’ No. 2 singles match was the turning point. The junior was up 4-3 in his first-set tiebreaker but dropped four straight points to ultimately lose 7-6 (4), 6-1 to No. 109 JC Roddick.

Wednesday marked Hoogmartens’ first singles match since Feb. 4, 2023, and coach Billy Martin said during the early-season rust, multiple team members still need to find their footing.

“I feel really encouraged with this team,” Martin said. “We’re just a little bit behind the 8-ball with a few guys still getting their match legs.”

One spot of encouragement came in the form of junior Giacomo Revelli, who took the first singles point of the day – defeating Togan Tokac in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.

Revelli avenged his Jan. 13 loss to Tokac in the Sherwood Collegiate Classic and said that defeat readied him for the rematch.

“That was something I lacked a little bit – the patience and consistency. I brought the learnings from that match today,” Revelli said. “I tried to bring as much energy as I could and ended up doing the right things at the right time. It was good to get the win.”

Along with Revelli and sophomore Gianluca Ballotta, Govind Nanda also claimed a singles win. The redshirt senior stepped away from the team after the 2020-2021 season to compete on tour but said he always kept the door open for a potential return to UCLA.

Now returning to a team with nearly all new faces, Nanda added that he has to learn to be a better leader for the team.

“I’ve never been in this role before,” Nanda said. “When I was here before, I was an underclassman, looking up to guys for advice, and now guys are coming to me for advice.”

The injection of Nanda – who, during his last season as a Bruin, played six matches at No. 1 singles and seven at No. 2 – back into the lineup brings veteran experience to the relatively young Bruin squad.

Despite being disappointed at the outcome of the dual-match season opener, Martin said this added depth makes him optimistic about the team’s future.

“As I told the guys, we are a good team if we get everybody really sharp – which we will. As we build through the year, we’re going to be fine,” Martin said. “We’re going to have some real good success and some fun matches.”

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Jeremy Chen
Chen is a Photo editor and a sports contributor on the men's tennis beat. He is a fourth-year cognitive science student pursuing a minor in film, television, and digital media, and he is from Alameda, California. He was previously an assistant Photo editor on the Sports beat.
Chen is a Photo editor and a sports contributor on the men's tennis beat. He is a fourth-year cognitive science student pursuing a minor in film, television, and digital media, and he is from Alameda, California. He was previously an assistant Photo editor on the Sports beat.
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