Friday, September 27, 2013

Top seed eliminated in Napa Challenger

   Sixth-seeded Matthew Ebden of Australia beat top-seeded Denis Kudla of Arlington, Va., 6-3, 7-5 today in the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Napa Valley Challenger at the Napa Valley Country Club.
   It was the first meeting between Ebden, a 25-year-old South Africa native, and the 21-year-old Kudla, who moved from his native Ukraine to Fairfax, Va., on his first birthday.
   Ebden is ranked No. 122 in the world after reaching a career-high No. 61 last October. He and Jarmila Gajdosova, a Slovakian-born Australian, won the Australian Open mixed doubles title this year as wild cards. Ebden also has won three doubles titles on the ATP World Tour, the major leagues of men's tennis.
   Kudla, ranked No. 99, was the only top-100 player in the Napa singles field.
   Ebden will meet fourth-seeded Alex Kuznetsov of Tampa, Fla., in Saturday's second semifinal. Kuznetsov, ranked No. 130, topped unseeded Michael Venus of New Zealand 6-2, 7-6 (3).
   Ebden and Kuznetsov have split two matches against each other. Kuzentsov won the last meeting, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round of the $100,000 Dallas Challenger in February.
   In Saturday's first semifinal at 11:30 a.m., second-seeded Tim Smyczek of Tampa will face eighth-seeded Donald Young of Atlanta.
   Smyczek, who reached the third round of the recent U.S. Open, topped fifth-seeded Bradley Klahn 1-6, 6-1, 6-2. Klahn was playing 81 miles (130 kilometers) north of Stanford, where he starred from 2009 to 2012.
   Young, who climbed to a career-high No. 38 in February 2012, eliminated No. 3 seed Rhyne Williams of Knoxville, Tenn., 6-2, 7-5. 
   Young is 6-3 against Smyczek. However, Smyczek has won the last two meetings, most recently 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the third round of qualifying at Atlanta on the ATP World Tour in July.
   Here are links to the singles and doubles draws and Saturday's schedule:
   http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/singles_draw287.PDF
   http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/doubles_draw288.PDF
   http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/schedule288.PDF
   Here are links to the qualifying draw for the $100,000 Sacramento Pro Circuit Challenger at the Natomas Racquet Club and Saturday's schedule:
   http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/qualifying_draw289.PDF
   http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/schedule292.PDF

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