Freund Bounces Back at Oracle Masters, Alboran de Moreno & Holm Dominate AT Battle of the Bay

Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team was in action at two separate locations today as Simon Freund resumed play at the 2017 Oracle ITA Masters while Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Anders Holm began their season with a dominant start in both singles and doubles play at the 2017 Battle of the Bay Classic.

Following a tough loss in his first round match against 35th ranked Adam Moundir, Freund rebounded wonderfully Friday with a 6-1, 6-2 straight-set victory against Bryant's Matt Kuhar in the first round of the singles consolation draw.

Freund was dominant throughout the match leading in nearly every statistical category over Kuhar including winning 70 percent (22/33) of his first serve points and 86 percent (6/7) of his break points.

The Sweeden native only committed three double faults on the day, something that hurt his chances of victory yesterday against Moundir as he had four double faults in the second set alone.

"What we were focused on today was his [Freund's] serving and he definitely did that better today," said Head Coach Marty Davis. "Frankly he's doing everything else really well so his serve will continue to be his focal point."

In the quarterfinals of the consolation bracket, Freund will now turn his attention to Abilene Christian's Josh Sheehy, a lefty tennis player who defeated USC's Tanner Smith 6-3, 7-6 (3) in his first round match.

"He serves very well and he has a really good forehand so I think it will be a very challenging match-up for Simon," Davis said. "Every round player's get better so I would be very surprised if Simon won as comfortably as he did today."

Elsewhere, action began at the Battle of the Bay where Moreno de Alboran and Holm's power as a doubles tandum was the highlight for the Gauchos in San Francisco.

The duo dominated their opening match against a Pepperdine pair comprised of Brian Berdusco and Dane Esses, 8-1. The victory was the largest margin of any duo competing in the Round of 16.

Moreno de Alboran and Holm's then played a tough match against Jacob Brumm and JT Nishimura, both from Cal, but ultimately scrapped their way to an 8-6 victory to advance to the semifinals against a fourth seeded USC pair made up of Jack Jaede and Laurens Verboven.

"They are already looking like they are in midseason form which isn't something you see very often and I was happy with the way they played," said Assistant Coach Blake Muller. "They have had the luxury of playing together for two years and it showed today; they've come a long way in these two years as a pair."

In singles play, the two juniors also managed to show their skill each earning a win in the round of 32. Moreno de Alboran, holding the eighth seed, was on upset alert early in his match against Esses who he faced earlier in doubles.

Dealing with tougher conditions, the New York native saw himself down in the first set but eventually got the break at 5-5 to help him gain control of the match and he seized the opportunity with a 7-5 win.

In the second set, Moreno de Alboran made quicker work of Esses getting the break at 1-1 and holding serve for a good time to eventually defeat him 6-3.

Holm, currently holding a 124th national ranking in singles, had a much easier time against Hawaii's Lucas Labrunie defeating him in straight sets 6-0, 6-2.

The Denmark native will have a much tougher draw tomorrow in the Round of 16 as he faces seventh-seeded Alastair Gray of TCU while Moreno de Alboran will serve against San Francisco's Johan Joenhagen.

"The program had a lot of great news today going 5-0 combined," said Davis. "It was literally a perfect day and I hope we could continue that tomorrow."

Freund is back in action at the ITA Masters Saturday, Septemeber 23 at 11 a.m.

Nicolas de Alboran and Holm resume action at the Battle of the Bay Friday, September 23 with semifinals doubles play at 9 a.m. and their respective Round of 16 singles matches at 2 p.m.