GODFREY – Six qualifiers, two wildcards and top seeded main draw players were still battling Thursday hoping to earn a spot in tomorrow’s singles quarterfinals during day six of the 19th Annual Lewis and Clark Men’s Pro Tennis Classic.
Sameer Kumar, a freshman at Stanford, played his way through the qualifying rounds and made it to the second round of the main draw before losing to No. 1 Tennys Sandgren, who posted a 6-4, 6-3.
Sandgren won his first United States Tennis Association (USTA) Futures tournament at Lewis and Clark in 2011. He also played in Thursday’s doubles semifinal with his former University of Tennessee teammate Rhyne Williams.
“It feels great to get through the first two rounds of singles and doubles. It has been really hot so far, and I’m happy I got the job done today in straight sets,” Sandgren said.
Williams, the No. 2 qualifier, celebrated a 7-6(3), 6-2 win against qualifier Alfredo Perez.
Perez just finished his freshman year at the University of Florida where he compiled a team best 36 singles wins during the 2016 season, including another team best 20 dual match singles wins. He was 2016 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year, and 2016 Second Team All-SEC.
Williams, who had a standout career at the University of Tennessee, reached the NCAA finals in 2011 and turned pro after his sophomore year. In 2012, he qualified for the U.S. Open, where he lost in the first round to Andy Roddick.
No. 2 Facundo Mena, of Buenos Aries, Argentina, defeated Eddie Grabill 6-1, 6-3. Grabill is a Dartmouth player from Hindsdale, Illinois who earned a wildcard into the main after winning the Bud Simpson Open earlier this summer.
Grabill said he enjoyed the tournament because it gave him the opportunity to play some of the world’s best players.
“This is my first Futures and I played the No. 2 seed, so he is a very good player. It is a great opportunity for me, and it is a very well-run tournament,” Grabill said.
Mena said this is his first time at the Godfrey Futures and he plans to play in all of the Illinois Swing tournaments, which include Godfrey, Edwardsville (July 22-31), Decatur (July 30 – Aug. 7) and Champaign (Aug. 6-13.)
“This is a great tournament with good people and they treat the players so well,” Mena said. “I have played well so far and just want to continue to do my best and play my game.”
In a match that lasted more than three hours, top-seeded qualifier, Dominik Koepfer, of Germany, lost to unseeded qualifier Jonathan Chang, of Houston, Texas, 6(3)-7, 6-2, 7-5.
Other winners Thursday were American Collin Johns, who posted a 7-6(5), 7-6 (4) win over No. 3 Blake Mott of Australia.
No. 6 Luke Bambridge defeated qualifier Robbie Mudge 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), and No. 8 Wil Spencer defeated Christian Harrison 6(1)-7, 6-4, 6-3.
In the doubles semifinal, No. 3 Jesus Andreas, of Argentina, and Mena Facundo, of Venezuala, won 6-4, 6-2 over Americans Tennys Sandgren and Rhyne Williams.
Americans Nathan Ponwith and Emil Reinberg defeated Americans George Goldhoff and Martin Redlicki 4-6, 7-6(4), 10-6.
“This is the first time George and I have played doubles together and have had enjoyed it. This is one of the nicest tournaments I have ever played. They treat all of the players so well here and the facilities are wonderful and the college is beautiful,”Redlicki said.
Singles quarterfinal and doubles final play continues Friday starting at 9 a.m. at the Andy Simpson Tennis Complex.