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Monday, June 20, 2016

Escobedo Wins First ATP Match; Novikov, Smyczek Advance to Second Round of Wimbledon Qualifying; Ten US Women in Wimbledon Qualifying Action Tuesday; Qualifying Complete in Tulsa, Rochester and Canada Futures

Ernesto Escobedo hadn't played a match on grass prior to this month, but he certainly has adapted quickly to the surface. After qualifying for the ATP 250 event in S'hertogenbosch two weeks ago, his first successful ATP qualifying attempt, he lost in the first round to Great Britain's Aljaz Bedene, ranked 58.  This past weekend in Nottingham, Escobedo again qualified for an ATP 250 event and today he  picked up his first main draw ATP win, beating ATP No. 72 Diego Schwartzman 6-0, 6-3 in 48 minutes.  Escobedo, who turns 20 next month, was ranked 399 at the end of last year and will move close to 260 with this recent success. He will play No. 5 seed Sam Querrey Tuesday.

Nottingham was fortunate to get most of its matches in on Monday, but rainy weather allowed only 16 of the 64 Wimbledon men's qualifying matches to be completed today at Roehampton.  Both US men who finished their matches won, with No. 28 seed Dennis Novikov beating wild card Lloyd Glasspool of Great Britain 6-2, 7-5 and No. 14 seed Tim Smyczek defeating Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 7-6(3), 6-2. The other eight US men--Daniel Nguyen, Alex Sarkissian, Stefan Kozlov, Bjorn Fratangelo(6), Ryan Harrison, Austin Krajicek(22), Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe--are on Tuesday's schedule.

Also on Tuesday's schedule are the ten US women who are entered in Wimbledon qualifying: Sachia Vickery, Taylor Townsend, Grace Min, Lauren Davis(6), Jessica Pegula, Julia Boserup, Jennifer Brady(23), Asia Muhammad, Vania King and Robin Anderson.  Unfortunately, Davis, Pegula, Boserup and Brady are all in the same section, so only one of those four can qualify.  Boserup and Brady play each other in the first round.

Qualifying is now complete at the three Pro Circuit events this week in North America.

At the $25,000 Futures tournament in Tulsa, the University of Georgia had three players qualify today and two of them, Paul Oosterbaan and Walker Duncan, will meet in the first round. Nathan Ponwith, who starts school in Athens this fall, will play No. 2 seed Sekou Bangoura, who won the Winston-Salem Futures title yesterday. Mitchell Krueger is the top seed and wild cards went to Emil Reinberg, another Georgia team member, Georgia Tech's Christopher Eubanks, and two local Tulsa players who will begin their college careers this fall, William Genesen (Stanford) and Zeke Clark(Illinois).

The $25,000 Futures in British Columbia this week has attracted quite a few American players, with two qualifiers incoming freshman and two more current Stanford teammates. Spencer Furman(Duke) and Canadian Alexis Galarneaux(North Carolina State) earned a place in main draw, as did Stanford rising sophomore Michael Genender and rising junior David Wilczynski.  Former Michigan star Jason Jung is the top seed.

And finally, at the $10,000 Futures in Rochester, two young players who picked up their first ATP point last week, Evan Zhu and Sebastian Korda, have earned an opportunity to double their number after advancing through qualifying. The 15-year-old Korda will play No. 3 seed Winston Lin, and the 17-year-old Zhu, whom I recently spoke to for an upcoming Tennis Recruiting Network article about his commitment to UCLA, faces No. 5 seed Cameron Silverman.  Wild cards were given to Dennis Uspensky, Thai Kwiatkowski, Julian Zlobinsky and Marcus Fugate. Gavin Van Peperzeel of Australia is the top seed.