By Jeremy Rubin
In Stanford’s first road trip of the 2021 season, the singles matches sunk men’s tennis (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) against UCLA (6-2, 1-0 Pac-12) following a strong Cardinal doubles performance.
Freshman Arthur Fery and junior Alexandre Rotsaert’s 6-4 doubles victory on court two of UCLA’s Los Angeles Tennis Center was the first match to be completed, followed by another win from the duo of sophomore Neel Rajesh and senior Timothy Sah to clinch the doubles point in Stanford’s favor. The Cardinal had yet to lose a doubles point all season and Monday’s matchup was no different. After a tiebreaker, freshman Tristan Boyer and senior Axel Geller also handled the Bruins’ Bryce Pereira and Keegan Smith 7-6.
However, the script was flipped in the singles matches. Needing to win at least three out of the six total to clinch the victory, the Cardinal were able to pick up just two points while UCLA secured four wins to come away with a 4-3 Bruins victory.
Against Matthew Tsolakyan of UCLA, freshman Aryan Chaudhary lost in straight sets as the first match to finish before Boyer bounced back with a 6-2, 6-2 victory. The Cardinal lost both of the next two completed matches — Geller on court one and Sah on court five — to give the Bruins a 3-2 advantage with the final two matches still in play, each of which went three sets.
Fery, facing off against Drew Baird, a Bruin he’d already beaten in the doubles matchup, dropped the first set 6-2 before battling back in the next two and securing 6-3 and 6-2 victories to even the score at 3-3. However, his doubles partner Rotsaert had a tougher go, winning the first set 6-4 but dropping each of the next two 6-2 to clinch the UCLA victory.
Stanford will remain in Southern California as it looks to get back in the win column, facing off against USC on Tuesday at 12 p.m. PT.