Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ebden, Young set up intriguing Napa Challenger final

Eighth-seeded Donald Young, shown in the Aptos Challenger
in July, ousted No. 2 seed Tim Smyczek to reach the final of
the Napa Valley Challenger. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The first Napa Valley Challenger final looks enticing.
   Sixth-seeded Matthew Ebden and eighth-seeded Donald Young, both trying to return to the top 100 in the world, have rolled through the draw in the inaugural $50,000 tournament at the Napa Valley Country Club.
   Young, ranked No. 142, ousted No. 2 seed Tim Smyczek of Tampa, Fla., 6-3, 6-2 in today's first semifinal. Ebden, ranked No. 122, dominated fourth-seeded Alex Kuznetsov of Tampa, Fla., 6-2, 6-0.
   In the recent U.S. Open, the 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Smyczek (pronounced SMEE-chek) reached the third round as a wild card and Young the second round as a qualifier. Ebden fell in the first round of qualifying at Flushing Meadows.
   Neither Young, a 24-year-old left-hander from Atlanta, nor Ebden, 25, of Australia, has lost a set in four matches in Napa. In Friday's quarterfinals, Ebden toppled No. 1 seed Denis Kudla of Arlington, Va., and Young dispatched No. 3 seed Rhyne Williams of Knoxville, Tenn.
   Sunday's final will be the first meeting between Young, who reached a career-high No. 38 in February 2012, and Ebden, who climbed as high as No. 61 last October.  
   Both players have won one singles title in one final this year.
   Ebden triumphed on grass in the Nottingham (England) Challenger in June. He also won the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Jarmila Gajdosova, a Slovakian-born Australian, in January.
   Young prevailed on hardcourt in the Leon (Mexico) Challenger in April.
   Here are links to the Napa singles and doubles draws and Sunday's schedule:
   Following are links to Sunday's qualifying schedule and the singles main draw in the $100,000 Sacramento Pro Circuit Challenger:

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