CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 11, 2013) – Five former, current or future UCLA Bruins won first-round singles matches during Day 2 main-draw play at the USTA Claremont Club Classic, a $10,000 Men’s Pro Futures event taking place at the Claremont Club.
A day after competing in qualifying at the US Open three weeks ago, Dennis Novikov decided it was time to turn professional after helping UCLA to a semifinal team finish in 2012 and a runner-up ending at the national championships last May.
On Wednesday, the 19-year-old No. 3-seeded Novikov, who is ranked No. 463 in the ATP World Tour rankings, lost just four games en route to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Keith-Patrick Crowley of South Africa.
“I really enjoyed my two seasons at UCLA,” Novikov said after making his decision. “(UCLA) has been my home and will always hold a special place with me.”
Despite the loss of Novikov, UCLA returns five of six starters from the 2013 NCAA finalists squad this coming season. The Bruins will also add three top juniors this fall in Gage Brymer, Makenzie McDonald and another winner on Wednesday, incoming freshman Joseph DiGuilio.
UCLA senior Clay Thompson, junior Marcos Giron, and former Bruin and No. 2-seeded Nick Meister also added wins on Wednesday in Claremont.
Giron’s victory over qualifier Matt Fawcett sets up a second-round match on Thursday against USC senior Raymond Sarmiento. The pair square off in the first match on Court 11 at 10 a.m. At the same time, Thompson will take on Ernesto Escobedo, while Meister meets France’s Maxime Tabatruong, a qualifier. Novikov is paired against 18-year-old USC recruit Connor Farren in the second match on Stadium Court.
Giron and Thompson also teamed to pick up a quarterfinal win in doubles as the beat Jayson Amos and Tim Kpulun, 6-4, 7-5.
Wednesday’s First-Round Singles Results
q: wc: wild card; ll: lucky loser
Clay Thompson (wc), U.S., def. Alex Sarkissian, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
Dennis Novikov (3), U.S., def. Keith-Patrick Crowley, South Africa, 6-1, 6-3