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UCLA men’s tennis falls to Texas in NCAA championships 2nd round

Members of UCLA men’s tennis look on as a teammate competes. The Bruins’ season came to a close Saturday as the Longhorns swept them in the second round of the NCAA championships. (Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Men's tennis

No. 2 seed Texas4

By Lamar Tuker

May 5, 2024 1:23 p.m.

This post was updated May 5 at 10:00 p.m.

Billy Martin said the end of the season means enjoying roses while acknowledging thorns.

“Our team just proved that they were fighters, and they were going to go into each match and give it their all and let the chips where they did,” the coach said. “I really enjoyed coaching this team, and I’m sorry to see some of our guys go, but I’m looking forward to next year and building on the group that’s coming.”

UCLA men’s tennis (15-8, 5-2 Pac-12) bid farewell to the 2024 season after being swept by No. 2 seed Texas (24-3, 7-0 Big 12) on Saturday at the Texas Tennis Center. The Bruins had yet to face the country’s second-seeded team this season, drawing exclusively on their 4-2 loss to the Longhorns four years ago at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

Govind Nanda is the sole member of the current Bruin roster to compete in that match. Similar to his last encounter, the redshirt senior clinched his doubles match 6-4 alongside junior Alexander Hoogmartens. Despite the duo’s 11th-straight doubles win, UCLA’s losses on court one and court three relinquished the doubles point to Texas.

This time around against the Longhorns, the veteran faced the country’s No. 2 singles player, Eliot Spizzirri, and had the fate of his last match as a Bruin truncated at 7-6(6), 4-1, unfinished.

“I always feel sorry for my seniors that have done such a great job and put out their heart and soul over many years,” Martin said. “But this match, he (Nanda) was so determined to help the team win, and I feel badly for him. But he did an incredibly good job.”

(Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)
Redshirt senior Govind Nanda eyes the ball as he prepares to strike a forehand. Nanda outlasted the nation’s No. 2 singles player to close the 2024 season. (Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Nanda collected 10 singles wins this season and finished all but one in straight sets. Through his UCLA tenure, the Redlands, California, local reined in 45 singles wins.

Junior Giacomo Revelli was the first Bruin out of the courts, ending his two-set match on a 4-6, 4-6 loss. Senior Jorge Plans Gonzalez followed suit, losing to his opponent 4-6, 1-6. The Barcelona, Spain, local will depart Westwood with the same number of singles matches won this season as Nanda.

Akin to Nanda, sophomore Gianluca Ballotta’s and freshman Spencer Johnson’s singles duels were abandoned as their outcomes were deemed inconsequential.

The affair’s final tally was carved in when Hoogmartens’ match replicated the ending to Revelli’s. Both Hoogmartens’ and Revelli’s losses closed the curtains on their respective seasons with a three-match losing streak.

The crown had already chosen its destination. And it wasn’t Westwood.

Although the Bruins’ NCAA championships run was brought to a premature halt in the second round, Martin said he is optimistic for his team’s forthcoming journey – undeterred by the departure of integral figures.

“We lose Govind. That’ll be hard to replace, and Jorge at the bottom of our lineup. But we’ve got four returners, and we’ve got great players that are coming in and other players that didn’t play in our lineup this year because we were so deep,” Martin said. “The future is very bright for us, and we’re going to have good success.”

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Lamar Tuker
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