Sunday, May 19, 2024

NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds


USAC Elections 2024SJP and UC Divest Coalition Demonstrations at UCLA

Captain Govind Nanda sets tone for UCLA men’s tennis

Redshirt senior Govind Nanda slams a serve. The veteran Bruin defeated Irvine’s Enrique Luque Rico in straight sets Thursday afternoon. (Jake Greenberg-Bell/Daily Bruin staff)

Men's Tennis

UC Irvine1

By Alexsia Drulias

March 9, 2024 9:16 p.m.

Victory often invites a sense of ease to a team.

But Govind Nanda isn’t a recipient of the bid.

“(Players can) win an easy first set then go to the Caribbean in (their) mind,” said coach Billy Martin. “So, seeing (Nanda) win 6-0, 6-1, that’s really a pep up for his teammates and a downer for the other guys. That’s why he’s our captain.”

Spurred on by the redshirt senior, UCLA men’s tennis (6-2) defeated UC Irvine (6-4) at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Thursday afternoon. The Bruins extended their hot streak to six with a 4-1 victory over the Anteaters.

Nanda set the tone by snagging the Bruins’ doubles match alongside redshirt junior Jeffrey Fradkin, and generated an unabiding pace with a 6-1, 6-0 victory on court one.

Immediately after Nanda’s singles win, the veteran turned the court into a recovery zone by stretching and rolling out.

“Taking care of my body before and after, making sure I get good sleep, hydrating well, and getting good nutrition,” Nanda said. “Tennis seems like it’s just on court that’s the business, but it’s a daily job. Making sure I’m being as professional as I can.”

The Bruins’ leader added that he strives to stay level-headed and optimistic as a veteran on the team.

“Growing up, I wasn’t necessarily the calmest kid out there,” Nanda said. “My dad would threaten to pull me out of tennis altogether, so I had to get my act together. Knowing that staying positive and staying level-headed is gonna benefit my level of play throughout.”

Nanda’s professionalism on the court and proficiency with the racket have granted him opportunities to play with professional tennis players, such as ATP top-100 Thanasi Kokkinakis last week.

While Kokkinakis passed through Southern California en route to the Indian Wells Open in Palm Springs, Nanda was able to size himself up against a world-renowned figure, and took notes from the pro.

“I’m privileged to be able to practice with guys like that, and see where I stand in relation to those kinds of guys,” Nanda said. “I would say his serve and forehand, and the way he goes after it, has been my goal throughout this season.”

Sophomore Gianluca Ballotta and senior Jorge Plans Gonzalez clocked in for the same shift as Nanda on Thursday – a Bruin win.

Ballotta ended up in a tight first set, but leaned into his physicality to eventually get a leg up at the end of the tiebreak.

“I have a lot of faith in GL (Ballotta),” Martin said. “He just needs minutes, and matches, and boy is he going to get three next week.”

Martin alluded to UCLA’s trifecta of matches against Colombia, TCU and Harvard in the coming month, all top-10 teams.

Nothing less than the biggest matches of the year, the coach said.

“We have an unbelievable opportunity to get a tremendous win or two. We’re playing at our place,” Martin said. “We’re ready to battle.”

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
Alexsia Drulias
Featured Classifieds
Apartments for Rent

WESTWOOD VILLAGE Large 1BR 1 Bath $2,700 (includes 1 parking space). ONLY TWO LEFT!!! Available July 1 and September 1. Beautifully landscaped courtyard building, laundry room, pool, elevator, subterranean garage. 691 Levering Avenue (310) 208-3647

More classifieds »
Related Posts