Shelby Rogers and Alex Kuznetsov Headed to Roland Garros With USTA Wild Cards
Two East Coasters are headed to Roland Garros as USTA Wild Cards. Charleston’s Shelby Rogers won the Women’s Wild Card by winning the Charlottesvile Challenger and making the quarters in Dothan. Richboro, Pennsylvania native and current Tampa resident Alex Kuznetsov won in Sarasota and made the quarters in Tallahassee and Savannah. They spoke with members of the press (and with me as well) during a USTA Conference call this afternoon.
Neither player admitted to changing their game over the last month. For Kuznetsov, it’s his first trip to Roland Garros since being a junior finalist at the French Open all the way back in 2004, when he lost to Gaels Monfils. For Rogers, it’s her first trip to Paris…ever.
“Honestly, to think I guess it’s been almost 10 years that this will be my first French Open main draw, I would have said I’d liked to have been in a couple before now.”, Kuznetsov said.
Kuznetsov is headed to Nice, while Rogers will play in St. Gaudens.
Both players went on an April run to take the wild cards, as neither player had a won a match in months prior to the USTA Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge, which featured three separate tournaments for the men and the women.
‘I hadn’t won a round since November of last year’, said Rogers, who grew up on the green clay in Mount Pleasant, S.C., in the shadow of the Family Circle Cup Tennis Center.
Rogers first stop in Paris is the Eiffel Tower, “but hopefully to stay on the red clay as long as I can”.
Rogers has no regrets for turning pro instead of entering college.
It’s always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I can always take classes, but I can’t always play on tour.
Both grew up on clay and were extensively trained on Har-Tru. Both would like to see more Har-Tru tournament opportunities in the U.S., especially Kuznetsov.
I would be for it, but I also think being that our main Grand Slam is on hard court, there also needs to be obviously an equal amount of hard court tournaments. Like Shelby, I also grew up playing on clay on the East Coast. I played at a club in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, which had indoor red clay. I think it’s a good surface to start younger kids on. I think they develop better on a clay court than they would a hard court. But, yeah, I’d also be for it if they had a few more events. But I’d like for them to keep some hard court tournaments, as well.
Do they like the round-robin format as opposed to a direct playoff?
Rogers was emphatic. “I think it’s a great way. It shows the players who can be consistent rather than over a weekend or a week. You have to bring your game throughout the whole three weeks.”
Kuznetsov clearly prefers the round-robin format as well, and implied that he may have been cut out of the Australian Open Wild Card field last December somewhat arbitrarily.
I think they chose the players they wanted in that one. I think this is an opportunity for the player who is playing the best tennis at the time. You’re also competing against players from different countries, so you’re not only competing against Americans. Obviously there’s players from South America and from Europe who grew up playing on clay, so they have a lot of experience. You deserve the wild card if you’re able to do that.
Stebe-Smyczek and Harrison-Kudla: Your @TallyChallenger Semifinal Matchups
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe will be looking to improve his career record to 2-0 against Tim Smyczek in the first Tallahassee Challenger Semifinal match. Stebe, the only non-American left in the draw, took out Frank Dancevic 6-4 6-3, while Smyczek beat Alex Kuznetsov via 1st set retirement. Kuznetsov was, as I expected, dealing with shoulder problems and found no further reason to continue after clinching the Wild Card the day before. The only previous meeting between Stebe and Smyczek was in Australian Open qualifying this year and Stebe won in straight sets. This will be their first meeting on clay.
Ryan Harrison survived Donald Young 7-6 6-4, while Denis Kudla upset Facundo Arguello by the same score. Harrison beat Kudla in their only meeting, but that was 3 years ago on grass in Newport. Both players are in good form and it should be a great match.
2013 @TallyChallenger Tuesday Recap: Kuznetsov and Odesnik Keep Wild Card Race Alive, Jeong Upsets Russell
2013 @TallyChallenger Tuesday Recap: Kuznetsov and Odesnik Keep Wild Card Race Alive, Jeong Upsets Russell
Alex Kuznetsov and Wayne Odesnik kept the French Open Wild Card race alive for another round as both advanced today in Tallahassee. Kuznetsov looked sluggish at the start against a shot-spotting Jack Sock, but recovered in the 2nd and 3rd sets for a 3-6 6-2 6-3 win. Sock hit the ball well, but his footwork failed him as he was slipping and stumbling on the clay on which he obviously wasn’t used to playing.
Odesnik won a back and forth battle with Denys Molchanov 4-6 6-3 6-4, similar to their previous 3 set match in Sarasota 2 weeks ago. Odesnik is usually quite a rowdy player, but it was Molchanov who provided the spark and spice this time, yelling at himself, and at times, towards his girlfriend sitting in the stands, in Ukrainian, and doing enough physical monologuing to qualify as an announcer for his own match. He may well have found a future career. He also hurled his racquet into the fence after being broken in the 3rd set. Both guys had struggles holding serve at times
The Harrison brothers both grabbed wins: Christian the Younger over Steve Johnson 7-6 6-1, in a match with 1 competitive set and then a letdown from Johnson. The air really came out of his game after losing the opening set tiebreak, and similar to Jack Sock, he struggled with his surface footwork and just didn’t look comfortable moving around
Ryan the Elder found himself in a much tighter match with Taro Daniel, 6-3 6-7 7-6. Daniel showed a lot of big game to hang with the number 2 seed and ATP regular, but Harrison just had that little bit of extra skill that put him over the top in the key moments
Suk-Young Jeong upset top seed Michael Russell 7-6 6-3, as his coaching team cheered him on. Both players were hesitant to get overly aggressive, but Russell never seemed comfortable and was totally out of sorts the entire match, exclaiming loudly near the end “it’s so different than last week!”
In other singles action, Frank Dancevic got past Ilija Bozoljac 7-5 6-3, Tim Smyczek scooted past Greg Jones, who struggled on serve, 6-3 7-5, and Bradley Klahn rolled past Nico Barrientos 6-3 6-2. Mischa Zverev handled Nikolosz Basilashvili 6-4 6-0, Peter Polansky was in a good mood as he finished off Dominic Cotrone 6-2 6-4 and Donald Young struggled a bit with Michael Venus’ serve but Young cracked the code and advanced 7-5 6-4.
In the night cap, Denis Kudla struggled a bit on serve but held strong from the baseline and beat Somdev Devvarman 7-6 6-4, Devvarman giving away the breaks he did have in the match
The match of the day in terms of ball striking alone would have to be Facundo Arguello’s 7-5 7-6 win over Reid Carleton. Both players dealt with burning sun and scorching heat as a visibly tired Arguello labored away against a gritty Carleton. Both players were throwing missiles at each other and grunting loudly. Arguello is also quite a verbalizer and was snapping at his coach in Spanish after almost every point, during changeovers and everything else. Carleton countered with “c’mons” of his own but just didn’t quite have enough to beat the skilled Argentine
In doubles Rice/Thornley beat Gonzales/Letcher 1-6 6-2 10-6, Jones/Polansky beat Barrientos/Molchanov 6-4 6-7 10-6, C. Harrison/Venus beat Bucaro/Lock 6-3 6-4, Kante/Takura beat Saleh/Santiago 6-4 6-4 and Basilashvili/Melzer beat Reed/Sock 4-6 6-3 10-7.
Because of rain, the Battle of the two Virginia residents in the tournament was postponed 24 hours. Denis Kudla and Somdev Devvarman will be hoping to get it on Tuesday night, but before that, tons of other matches will be served up on the Har-Tru clay.
Starting with Christian Harrison and Steve Johnson. The younger Harrison blitzed through qualifying and is looking sharp as he prepares to take on Johnson, who according to an article in the local newspaper, is going through the slow learning process of clay court tennis. At the same time, Michael Venus will take on Donald Young, Mischa Zverev will face Nikoloz Basilashvili, and Greg Jones will play Tim Smyczek.
Those matches, weather permitting, will be followed by Jack Sock and Alex Kuznetsov, who will be looking to clinch his French Open wild card. Also scheduled for action are Bradley Klahn and Nico Barrientos and Facundo Arguello vs. Reid Carleton. Peter Polansky and Domonic Cotrone will also resume their suspended match.
On the stadium court, Michael Russell, who was spotted on the practice courts hitting with Tim Smyczek, will play Suk-Young Jeong, and Taro Daniel will play Ryan Harrison. On the outer courts, Wayne Odesnik will play Denys Molchanov and Frank Dancevic will play Ilija Bozoljac.
The doubles matches are Kante/Takura vs. Saleh/Santiago, Bucaro/Lock vs. C. Harrison/Venus, Reed/Sock vs. Melzer/Basilashvili, Jones/Polansky vs. Barrientos/Molchanov and Rice/Thornley vs. Gonzales/Letcher.
And don’t worry. A Taro Daniel interview is forthcoming.
USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger Announces 2013 Tournament Date, Surface Change
The USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger, a part of the USTA Pro Circuit, has announced that this year’s edition of the tournament will be held April 27-May 4. The event will also be switching from hard court to green clay for this year’s tournament. The challenger will now be the finale of the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit challenge, which also features challengers in Savannah, Georgia and Sarasota, Florida.
The American player who accumulates the most points in the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit challenge tournaments will be rewarded with a wild card into the 2013 French Open. The challenger will also be live streamed , along with the other pro circuit events this year via the USTA website. As part of the surface change, an overhaul is underway with stadium court installation of a new Har-Tru Hydro Blend court.
Tennis East Coast currently has plans to provide at least a few days of onsite coverage from the event, as it did for last year’s exciting edition.
2012 Tallahassee Challenger Recap
by Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
The USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger finished up with Tim Smyzcek defeating Frank Dancevic in singles 7-5 (ret.) and Martin Emmrich and Andreas Siljestrom beating Artem Sitak and Blake Strode 6-2 7-6.
The American Smyczek, who has a career high ranking of 158, (currently 282) played some great tennis this week. He began by beating Alex Kuznetsov in the 1st round, coming back after losing the 1st set to defeat 7 seed Rogerio Dutra Silva in the 2nd, taking out 3 seed Igor Kunitsyn in another 3 set battle where he, again, came back after losing the 1st set in the quarters and defeating fellow American Rajeev Ram in a 3 set semi-final battle.
The Canadian Dancevic also played great tennis this week en route to the final, beating qualifier Artem Sitak in the 1st round, Jamie Baker in the 2nd round, Bobby Reynolds in the quarters and Tatsuma Ito, the 4 seed, in the semis. He beat all but Ito in straight sets and was competing very well with Smyzcek until he suffered a back injury at the end of the 1st set, something that has hampered him in the past, and had to be carried off the court. He said he felt something “pop” in his back, and after receiving treatment, he determined it was best for him to retire from the match and not risk further injury. Unfortunately, he will likely be off pro circuit for a few weeks depending on the severity of his injury but his ranking will now hover near around 111 (career high for Frank was 65).
In doubles, Martin Emmrich, who is already ranked 89 in the world in doubles, and partner Andreas Siljestrom made quick work of doubles qualifiers Sitak and Strode, who to the surprise of many made it all the way to the final this week.
It was a great week of tennis in Tallahassee, filled with thrilling, eventful matches. The challenger celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and here is to another 20 years and beyond!
The Monday and Tuesday sessions of the Tallahassee Challenger were filled with great Tennis as all the top seeds were in action battling to reach the 2nd round.
On Monday, only 3 singles matches were played on the 1st day of the main draw. First up, lucky loser Daniel Kosakowski pulled off a mild upset of Dallas Challenger semi-finalist Stefan Seifert of Germany 6-3, 5-7, 7-6. Seifert struggled to control the ball and made far too many unforced errors to win. Kosakowski kept fending off Seifert’s power game and closed it out in a long 3 set battle to advance to the 2nd round. What made the victory even more remarkable is that Kosakowski had played 4 matches in 3 days. He was joined by Tatsuma Ito of Japan who defeated qualifier John Peers 6-4 1-6 7-5. Ito played pretty well and even though he was breadsticked in the 2nd by Peers, who had played strong all week, he quickly recovered to take it in 3 sets.
In the final singles match, Jamie Baker came back from a 1st set bagel to defeat wild card recipient Tennys Sandgren, a rising American, 0-6 6-0 6-4. The topsy-turvy match featured some very long rallies. Meanwhile, in the doubles, the Aussie duo of J.P Smith and Peers defeated Americans Adham Al-Effendi and Darren Walsh 6-3 6-4, the British duo of David Rice and Sean Thornley beat current Florida State players and local favorites Dominic Cotrone and Anderson Reed 6-3, 6-4. Rice had also beaten Cotrone in singles qualifying on Saturday, and top seeded doubles partners Martin Emmrich and Andreas Siljestrom beat the Japanese duo of Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita 2-6 6-0 16-14 in a thrilling match.
On Tuesday, 13 singles matches were on the schedule featuring the rest of the challenger field. First up Frank Dancevic of Canada, who inherited the no. 1 seeds seed line, defeated qualifier Artem Sitak 6-0 6-4. Dancevic dictated play with his powerful one-handed backhand and Sitak appeared sluggish throughout as his strokes lacked much pop. While Sitak did make the 2nd set more competitive, the result was never in doubt. Local favorite Bobby Reynolds, who has earned the affectionate nickname “Mr. Tallahassee”, took out fellow American Michael Yani 6-4 2-1 (ret.) after Yani was unable to continue in the beginning of the 2nd set. Tim Smyzcek took out fellow American Alex Kuznetsov 6-3 7-6. Smyzcek was in control throughout the first set and held off Kuznetsov in a much more competitive 2nd set to reach the 2nd round of the Challenger.
Wayne Odesnik beat Benjamin Becker 6-4 6-0 in a match that was less known for Odesnik grinding the veteran Becker, normally a grinder himself, down into a stump by the end of it with his baseline play and better known for Odesnik telling a group of elementary age school children who were watching the match to leave the stands and go somewhere else because they were making a bit of noise. His tactless behavior, which was also shamelessly exhibited at the challenger last year, where he reached the final as a qualifier losing to Donald Young in 3 sets, extended into arguing with the chair ump quite often, making rude comments, being testy with ball kids, complaining about such things as the court surface and cursing at himself. He is not exactly the best representative of the pro game, especially compared to many of his fellow pros who conduct themselves much more tactfully.
Rajeev Ram made his return to the challenger after a hiatus last year defeating promising Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in a 3 set battle 6-4 5-7 6-4. The tall Frenchman Herbert battled until the end relying on his serve but Ram was able to gut out a victory and reach the 2nd round. Carsten Ball upset newly top 100 player Vasek Pospisil 6-3 3-6 6-3 in what was a typical Carsten Ball match that featured his powerful serve and top notch volley game that Pospisil had a hard time getting a handle on. Each set only featured one break and the match was closer than the score line would indicate. Ball is very similar to other powerful servers such as Ivo Karlovic in that when he is on his game he can beat nearly anyone but when his serve is not quite as vigorous he struggles mightily. The inability to break a player and consistently deal with a player like Carsten Ball’s serve can frustrate even the best of players and it certainly frustrated Pospisil on Tuesday.
Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil, the 7 seed, beat qualifier Martin Emmrich 7-6 6-2 in a match he had control of throughout. Brian Baker an American wild card recipient who has come back to the pro circuit after a short retirement due to injuries, that featured a stint of college coaching, beat qualifier Blake Strode 6-2 6-1 as once again the qualifier Strode played very fatigued.
In the final match that was finished before t-storms ended the days action, Igor Kunitsyn of Russia beat his friend Mischa Zverev 6-2 1-1 (ret.) Zverev, who was born in Russia but represents Germany, had beaten Kunitsyn the week beforehand in the La Gosier Challenger quarterfinals in route to reaching the final where he fell to David Goffin but Kunitsyn triumphed in this encounter as Zverev was, understandably, clearly worn out from all the tennis he had played in the last few days and the travel he had to do in such a short time span.
As the rain moved in, the remaining matches scheduled for Tuesday were moved to Wednesday and to conclude the 1st round singles matches Ryan Sweeting beat Michael Russell in 3 sets 6-4 3-6 6-3, qualifier Catalin Gard beat Jesse Levine 7-6 4-6 6-2 and Yuichi Sugita beat Canadian Pierre Duclos 5-7 6-1 6-2. Duclos apparently suffered from back spasms towards the end. In 1st round doubles, Ball and Reynolds beat Chris Eaton and Dominic Inglot 6-1 6-7 10-8, Sitak and Strode beat Kuznetsov and Zverev 6-1 6-4, Brian Baker and Sandgren defeated the Canadian duo of Duclos and Popisil and Germans Becker and Michael Kohlmann beatTravis Parrot and Rajeev Ram 6-4 6-3.
Tuesday’s matches concluded my live coverage from the Tallahassee Challenger and once again, it was a top notch and wonderful event featuring some of the best players in the world battling it out in such an intimate environment. I plan to attend the challenger next year for my 5th year in a row and, hopefully, I will be covering it for tenniseastcoast.com next year as well. After Saturdays final, I will have a wrap up of the Challenger noting who the champions and runner-ups were. The Tennis runs all week and the weather while being a bit spotty has mostly held so if you’re in Tallahassee or the surrounding area come out to the challenger at Forestmeadows and watch some great tennis!
The qualifying rounds of the Tallahassee Challenger were completed today with a plethora of exciting matches as the players battled to earn the 4 available qualifying spots in the main draw.
In 2nd round qualifying matches held today, Catalin Gard beat Ed Corrie 6-4 6-2, Blake Strode defeated Sekou Bangoura 6-1 6-4, Ty Trombetta beat the no 2. seed in the qualies, Alex Ward 6-4 6-4 and Artem Sitak beat Olivier Sajous of Haiti 6-4 6-3.
The 4 qualifiers who earned their spot in the main draw were Martin Emmrich who beat Daniel Kosakowski 6-4 6-2 in what was an interesting match due to the contrast of styles, Artem Sitak who beat the tall American Ty Trombetta 6-4 6-3 in a grinding baseline match and Blake Strode who rode his forehand to victory against Catalin Gard 6-2 7-5. Strode took the 1st set with ease but Gard made it into a competitive match in the 2nd urging himself on in Romanian throughout. Strode was able to close it out, though, and John Peers, who knocked off Dennis Lajola in 3 long sets 6-3 3-6 7-5. Peers played a strong 1st set but Lajola had seized the upper hand at the end of the 2nd and early on in the 3rd. It was not to be for Dennis though as he began cramping midway through the 3rd set and while he held on with both players breaking serve consistently. By the end of the match he could barely move and no longer serve at all. An unfortunate end for the young American’s qualifying hopes. Peers continued his strong play this week.
Strode, Sitak, Peers and Emmrich will be joined by lucky losers Daniel Kosakowski and Catalin Gard who will replace 1 seed Yen-Hsun Lu and Alexander Kudryavtsev of Russia, respectively, both of whom withdrew from the challenger.
After the qualifying matches were over, many of the main draw participants including Carsten Ball, Vasek Pospisil and Frank Dancevic began to practice around the grounds and a pro-am was held featuring local tournament supporters and volunteers partnered with professionals participating in the challenger this week. It was a fun-filled, jovial event and between the fun atmosphere, intimate environment and low-key mood of the afternoon for most players it proved the optimum setting for interaction, pictures, autographs and the like with the players.
Top Americans Michael Russell and Ryan Sweeting also showed up around the grounds and Sweeting participated in the pro-am along with fellow American Rajeev Ram, the aforementioned Carsten Ball, Frank Dancevic and Vasek Pospisil, the promising young Aussie J.P. Smith and more.
At the behest of fellow tennis tweeter @linzsports I asked Ryan how he felt about defending his title in Houston at the U.S Clay Court Championships next week as well and he said he was prepared and ready.
The main draw starts tomorrow along with doubles main draw. Tomorrow’s singles action will feature lucky loser Kosakowski against rising young German Stefan Seifert who was a semi-finalist at the YP Challenger of Dallas back in Febuary, Tasuma Ito of Japan who is a 5 time ATP challenger tour winner, world no. 89, a member of the Japan’s Davis cup team and a bronze medalist at the 2010 Asian games. American wild card recipient Tennys Sandgren a former All-American at the University of Tennessee and a rising star on the USTA pro circuit will finish the days singles matches off against Jamie Baker of Great Britain.
In doubles qualifying action, Corrie and Sajous will take on Strode and Sitak, rising Aussies Peers and J.P Smith will team up to take on young Americans Sekou Bangoura and Kosakowski, Emmrich and Swede Andreas Siljestrom, last years runner-up in Bastad, Sweden along with his doubles partner at the time, Simon Aspelin will take on the Japanese duo of Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita (both of whom are members of Japan’s Davis Cup team) and the Florida State duo of Dominic Cotrone and Anderson Reed, who will surely get lots of local support, will take on British doubles partners David Rice and Sean Thornley. Adham El Effendi and Darren Walsh who advanced in the lone doubles qualfying match today, defeating Azcurra and American Mark Oljaca in a topsy turvy match 6-7 6-1 10-4 will take on the winner of the Corrie/Sanjous vs. Strode/Sitak match.
Day 1 of the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger got underway under cloudy skies that quickly turned to rain. After a couple of hours delay in starting the 1st round of qualifying matches, play finally began around 11:30 A.M. thanks to both the dedicated work of volunteers drying off the courts (which included myself oddly enough) and the sun. On a positive note, the rain delay allowed for lots of interaction with the players while we all waited out the rain and it was a joy to strike up a friendly chat with some of them.
Once play began the sun was plenty hot and the tennis was even hotter. First matches included American Dennis Lajola who was in control throughout his match and advanced 6-0 7-6 over Alexandre Lacroix of France, Australian John Peers pulled off a mild upset of fan favorite Floridian Greg Ouelette, who was making his 2nd straight appearance at the challenger, 7-6 6-3. I watched two matches most closely: the first between former junior no.1 and junior Australian open champ, Tiago Fernandes of Brazil and Denes Lukacs of Hungary who was also making his 2nd appearance in a row at the challenger. Unfortunately, it didn’t prove to be much of a match as Fernandes was sluggish throughout calling for the trainer at the end of the 1st set and even though he chose to continue he went down in defeat 6-0 6-1 narrowly avoiding a double bagel by holding serve at the end of the 2nd set. Fernandes may have been injured but Lukacs still played very well making the young Brazilian run and hitting the ball corner to corner.
The other big morning match was what turned into a 3 hour battle on stadium court between the Brit Chris Eaton and Zimbabwean number 1 Takanyi Garanganga. Both players held serve throughout with Eaton getting a big break of serve at the end of the 3rd set and although Garanganga had his chances Eaton came out on top, eventually outlasting the Zimbabwean 7-6 4-6 7-5. It was a very spirited match with Eaton shouting encouragement to himself throughout and Garanganga letting out the occasional scream. Eaton, especially, relied on his serve and volley skills to triumph.
In the next matches up South African Fritz Wolmarans, making his 2nd straight appearance at the challenger, handled young American Morgan Mays with ease 6-2 6-2, noted doubles player Martin Emmrich of Germany knocked off sunglasses wearing, ankle tattooed Jeff Dadamo of the USA (reminds me of a certain current top 10 Serbian player not named Djokovic, if only for his look) 6-3 6-1, David Rice of Great Britain defeated local high school Tennis star and pre-qualifying tournament winner Terrance Whitehurst, who had his own very vocal cheering section, 6-2 6-4 and in another lengthy 3 set battle on the stadium court rising American Daniel Kosakowski, the former Pac-10 freshman of the year defeated American Josh Zavala 3-6 6-3 6-4. Kosakowski played a rather sloppy 1st set but quickly recovered and finished off Zavala who battled till the end.
In the remaining 1st round qualifying matches Blake Strode, who you may remember for winning the 2010 US Open National Playoffs, handily defeated fellow American Erik Graves 6-2 6-1 , Romanian Catalin Gard making his 2nd straight apperance at the challenger recovered from getting breadsticked in the 2nd set and defeated American and current Florida State Seminole Dominic Cotrone 6-3 1-6 6-3, Edward Corrie upset fellow Brit and no. 1 qualifying seed Alex Bogdanovic7-6 7-5, Alexander Ward of Great Britain, the no 2. qualifying seed beat Mark Verryth of Austrailia who was making his 2nd straight appearance at the challenger 6-1 6-4, Sekou Bangoura a former American Tennis phenom defeated fellow American Terence Celestine 6-2 6-1, American Ty Trombetta defeated Sean Thornley of Great Britain 6-4 6-2, Russian born New Zealander Artem Sitak defeated the 2009 Wimbledon Junior finalist Jordan Cox of the USA 7-6 6-4, Olivier Sanjous of Haiti defeated the big man, 6 foot 5 inch Vlad Obradovic of Serbia, who was making a repeat appearance at the challenger, 7-6 6-4 in what was a very testy match between both players and the umpire.
In 2nd round qualifying matches completed the same day Emmrich defeated Rice 3-6 6-2 (ret), Lajola defeated marathon man Eaton 6-4 6-2, Peers defeated Lukacs 6-4 6-2 continuing his strong run and Kosakowski defeated Wolmorans.
It was a great day of Tennis and luckily the weather held all day after earlier rains. Doubles qualifying and the end of singles qualifying is tomorrow and then the main draw starts monday.
One other note:
The main draw is out and the seeds are world no. 56 Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) ATP Houston defending champ Ryan Sweeting (USA, world no. 81 Igor Kunitsyn (RUS), Tasuma Ito (JPN), Vasek Popisil (CAN), last years runner up Wayne Odesnik (USA), Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) and Bobby Reyonolds (USA). Other notables in the main draw include Mischa Zverev (participation may be contingent on his play in the Le Gosier Challenger where he is set to play David Goffin in the final tomorrow), Benjamin Becker, rising American Tennys Sandgren, Michael Russell, Jesse Levine, Rajeev Ram, Tim Smyczek, Michael Yani, Alex Kuznetsov and Carsten Ball.
The full main draw can be found here and qualifiers will be added after tommorows matches
He’ll be known around here as “Steen the Teen” at first, but don’t let his age fool you: the guy memorizes career ATP rankings like our grandparents memorized the backs of baseball cards. His twitter account is as laced with political organizing as it is with pro tennis. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Steen Kirby. His first report appeared on Tennis East Coast this morning and he’ll have a Davis Cup preview for you next week along with his Tallahassee coverage.
Hello everyone, my name is Steen Kirby and I am one of the new contributors here at Tennis East Coast. I will mainly be covering the Men’s ATP and Challenger tours along with Davis Cup. I have been an avid and dedicated tennis fan for the past 4 years who truly loves the sport. I spend a lot of time watching, reading about, tweeting (my twitter is @nolesfan2011) , and of course, playing tennis. My favorite players include Andy Murray, Lleyton Hewitt, Jurgen Melzer, Marcos Baghdatis, Fernando Verdasco, John Isner, Vasek Pospisil, Michael Russell and Phillip Kohlschreiber on the men’s side and Sabine Lisicki, Sam Stosur, Ana Ivanovic, Dominika Cibulkova and Caroline Wozniacki on the women’s side. I am a 16-year-old resident of Atlanta, Georgia and I look forward to avidly sharing tennis news, views, previews, and reviews with everyone. I hope y’all will enjoy and feedback is most certainly welcome.
For my first post I (previewed) the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger that I will be attending for my 4th year in a row. The Challenger is one of the top-level ATP Challengers here in the US and always attracts a top-level field of contenders vying for both ranking points and the $50,000 pool of prize money. It is held in sunny Tallahassee, Florida (my hometown) at the Forest Meadows Athletic Center and is a hard court event. The tournament runs March 30-April 7 and I will be covering the qualifying and 1st and 2nd rounds specifically. I covered the challenger last year for tennisthisweek.com (now known as wtatoday.com) and once again my coverage will include live tweeting from the tournament grounds (@nolesfan2011) and a daily tournament report complete with photos here on tenniseastcoast.com. I will also have a post-challenger wrap up at the conclusion of the tournament.