GODFREY – A month ago, Eddie Grabill celebrated a singles championship at the Bud Simpson Open at Lewis and Clark Community College.
Now, the former tennis standout from Hinsdale Central is four wins away from winning another tournament title at the Andy Simpson Tennis Complex.
Grabill defeated Justin Roberts of Bahamas 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday in a first-round match of the Men’s Pro Tennis Classic singles tournament. Grabill will face either Dekel Bar of Israel or second-seeded Facundo Mena of Argentina in the second round.
Bar and Mena will square off in a first-round match at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Grabill, who will be a sophomore at Dartmouth College this fall, earned a wild card spot in the main draw by winning the singles championship at the Bud Simpson Open on June 26. He competed in the Bud Simpson Open for the first time.
Grabill, who won an IHSA state singles title two years ago, said he enjoyed being back at LCCC on Tuesday.
“The facility is really nice,” he said. “There are a lot of really good players here, so it was another opportunity to get really good competition. I was really excited to come down here.”
In the first set against Roberts, Grabill came back from a 4-3 deficit to win the set. The two players were tied at 3-3 in the second set before Grabill scored the next three points to win the set and match.
Grabill said he was thrilled to pull off a victory under hot and humid conditions.
“I felt like the biggest thing for me was my ability to manage the weather a little better,” he said. “I know in the previous times, the weather got to me at times and I felt like today, the weather didn’t really hurt me as much.”
Five first-round singles matches were completed on Tuesday, 11 more are scheduled to played on Wednesday. All first-round doubles matches were played on Tuesday.
Tennys Sandgren of Gallatin, Tenn., won his first-round matches in both singles and doubles on Tuesday. Sandgren beat Emil Reinberg of Atlanta, Ga., in two sets in singles. Sandgren teamed up with Rhyne Williams in doubles and they defeated Ian Dempster and Robbie Mudge in two sets.
Sandgren, who won his first USTA Futures Singles title in the 2011 Lewis and Clark Men’s Pro Tennis Classic, will play either Henrik Wiersholm of San Francisco, Calif., or Sameer Kumar of Galveston, Texas, in the second round. Sandgren is the top seed in singles.
Sandgren and Williams will play second-seeded Austin Smith and Dane Webb in a second-round doubles match on Wednesday.
Michael Peters of St. Louis and Dylan Steffens of Creve Coeur, Mo., lost their first-round doubles match to American Mico Santiago and Daniel Hobert of Australia 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.
In the first set, Santiago and Hobert came back from a 4-2 deficit to win the set. The second set was tied at 4-4 before Santiago and Hobert won the next two points to advance to the second round.
“It was tough to lose that one, especially since we had so many chances in the first set,” said Peters, who will be a sophomore at Harvard University this fall. “I felt like if we had capitalized on a point here or there, the first set would have been ours. In the second set, our serves let us down a little bit. We were getting good breaks and good returns, but we couldn’t put the balls away that we needed to put away to win this match.”
Peters and Steffens earned a wild card berth to the Men’s Pro Tennis Classic by winning a doubles championship at the Bud Simpson Open last month.
“We have never seen or played in a professional tournament like this before, so we didn’t really know what the level was going to be like,” said Steffens, who will be a senior at Illinois State University this fall. “So we were kind of experimenting.”
Also on Tuesday, third seeded Blake Mott of Australia came from behind to beat Santiago in three sets in a first-round match.
There were a pair of upsets in first-round doubles competition on Tuesday. Top-seeded Luke Bambridge and Farris Fathi Gosea of Great Britain lost to Americans George Goldhoff and Martin Redlicki in two sets and third-seeded Bar and Collin Johns lost to Jesus Bandres of Venezuela and Facundo Mena in two sets.
MEN’S PRO TENNIS CLASSIC
July 19 at Lewis and Clark Community College
Tennys Sandgren (USA) def. Emil Reinberg (USA) 6-2, 7-5
Christian Harrison (USA) def. Vasil Kirkov (USA) 6-2, 6-3
Collin Johns (USA) def. William Griffith (USA) 4-6, 6-2, 3-1 (retired)
Blake Mott (AUS) def. Mico Santiago (USA) 6-3, 5-0 (retired)
Eddie Grabill (USA) def. Justin Roberts (BAH) 6-4, 6-3
Luke Bambridge (GBR)/Farris Fathi Gosea (GBR) def. George Goldhoff (USA)/Martin Redlicki (USA) 6-2, 7-6 (5)
Daniel Hobart (AUS)/Mico Santiago (USA) def. Michael Peters (USA)/Dylan Steffens (USA) 7-6 (2), 6-4
Justin Roberts (BAH)/Andrew Watson (GBR) def. Dayne Kelly (AUS)/Chad Rhoden (USA) 6-1, 6-4
Nathan Ponwith (USA)/Emil Reinberg (USA) def. Patrick Davidson (USA)/Eric Morris (USA) 6-2, 6-1
Vasil Kirkov (USA)/John McNally (USA) def. Jonathan Chang/Wil Spencer (USA) 6-2, 6-7 (3) [10-3]
Jesus Bandres (VEN)/Facundo Mena (ARG) def. Dekel Bar (ISR)/Collin Johns (USA) 7-6 (1), 6-2
Tennys Sandgren (USA)/Rhyne Williams (USA) def. Ian Dempster (USA)/Robbie Mudge (USA) 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2)
Austin Smith (USA)/Dane Webb (USA) def. Brian Battistone/Trevor Allen Johnson (USA) 6-4, 7-5