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Countdown: Dennis Mkrtchian Decides on UCLA
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If not for a chance meeting in a park, Dennis Mkrtchian isn't sure how his life would have turned out.

Dennis Mkrtchian is heading to nearby LA
© Julie Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
When Mkrtchian was 6 1/2 years old, his family decided to go hit tennis balls at the courts near its house in Reseda, California.

Nobody had any background in the sport, but Mkrtchian's parents figured it would be a fun way to spend a few hours together.

During their family outing, a man approached the court and told Mkrtchian's parents that he could teach Dennis how to play tennis.

Dennis began taking lessons from Coach Sean a short time later in what proved to be the launching point of a successful junior tennis career.

"I doubt if I didn't meet Sean that day I would be a tennis player," said Mkrtchian, who can't remember Sean's last name. "It's really crazy to think about it now, but I saw a drastic improvement in only a year. I went from a kid having never played tennis to winning satellites and opens one year later."

The career milestones progressed even more last week when Mkrtchian verbally committed to play tennis at UCLA.

He made the decision one day after taking his official visit to the Westwood campus. Mkrtchian chose UCLA over Duke, Michigan, and Illinois.

"It was a very tough decision because they are all great schools," said Mkrtchian, a senior at Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies. "It really came down to little factors like UCLA being pretty close to home and me knowing a few players on the team. And obviously Coach (Billy) Martin is a great coach."

Possessing a big serve and even bigger forehand, Mkrtchian's greatest strength might be his competitive drive.

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Page updated on Friday, February 21, 2014
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