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Forehand puts Jorge Plans Gonzalez at forefront of UCLA men’s tennis victory

Members of UCLA men’s tennis spray water and crowd around senior Jorge Plans Gonzalez, who cemented the team’s 4-3 win over Stanford. (Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Men's Tennis

No. 19 Stanford3

By Chloe Agas

April 13, 2024 4:20 p.m.

It all came down to court six.

Senior Jorge Plans Gonzalez and Hudson Rivera were in combat to determine the fortune of their respective teams.

The Bruins and Cardinal stood on either end of the court, watching the battle unfold.

After being defeated in the second set, a forehand from Plans Gonzalez in the third triggered a 4-3 victory for UCLA men’s tennis (11-6, 3-2 Pac-12) over No. 19 Stanford (13-5, 5-1) on Friday afternoon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

For Plans Gonzalez, the team’s support made his achievement all the more meaningful, he said.

“I like that feeling of knowing that I’m going to get that point for the team and how much it’s going to mean to them,” Plans Gonzalez said. “I love it when they’re all supporting that much. It’s great.”

However, the Clemson transfer was not the only victor in a series of clashes Friday afternoon.

After breaking back 6-4 in the second set, freshman Spencer Johnson battled out a tiebreak against Stanford’s Samir Banerjee. The odds would be in Johnson’s favor as he played a no-touch ace to secure the win, equalizing the match at 3-3 apiece.

Johnson said the journey dwarfs the final destination.

“I’ve been working on improving my game rather than just thinking about winning and losing,” Johnson said. “That’s helped me not get emotional when I play.”

In doubles, Johnson along with his doubles partner, redshirt freshman Emon van Loben Sels – secured the Bruins’ first point of the day. The victory marked the second consecutive doubles win for the young duo.

Before Johnson and van Loben Sels’ win, UCLA’s captains, redshirt senior Govind Nanda and junior Alexander Hoogmartens, won their doubles match 6-3, cementing their squad’s doubles tally.

Hoogmartens also managed to notch UCLA’s first singles point, catapulting from a 6-4 loss in the first set to winning the following frames 6-4, 6-4.

“We are a completely different team with Alex Hoogmartens on our team, in singles and doubles,” said coach Billy Martin. “We need him to be able to battle against the best teams, that (we) wouldn’t have had a chance to win this match today without Alex.”

With the Bruins’ 4-3 result, they ruptured a four-match losing streak against the Cardinal.

Despite Nanda’s, sophomore Gianluca Ballotta and junior Giacomo Revelli’s singles losses – which combined for a 3-1 Stanford lead – UCLA fought to establish a four-match winning streak heading into Sunday’s match against California and Tuesday’s rivalry bout versus USC.

“We’re starting to play our best tennis of the year,” Martin said. “There’s no doubt about that.”

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Chloe Agas
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