Saturday, August 8, 2015

Stepanek set for Aptos Challenger qualifying

Radek Stepanek, a former top-10 player in singles and
doubles, is scheduled to play today in qualifying for the
Aptos (Calif.) Challenger. 2012 Photo by Paul Bauman
   Radek Stepanek, a former top-10 player in singles and doubles, is scheduled to play today in the first round of qualifying for the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, Calif.
   The 36-year-old Czech will face Evan Song, a 23-year-old American left-hander, not before noon at the Seascape Sports Club.
   Stepanek reached career highs of No. 8 in singles in 2006 and No. 4 in doubles of 2012. He won the deciding match for the Czech Republic in the 2012 and 2013 Davis Cup finals and earned his two Grand Slam titles in those years. Stepanek teamed with Leander Paes of India for the men's doubles crowns in the 2012 Australian Open and 2013 U.S. Open.
   Stepanek sat out for seven months, from last September until April, with a lower back injury. Consequently, he has tumbled to No. 258 in singles and No. 145 in doubles.
   Today's schedule also features:
   --Former Wimbledon champions Frederik Nielsen of Denmark and Noah Rubin of New York. Nielsen and Jonathan Marray of Great Britain in 2012 became the only wild cards to win the men's doubles title, and Rubin triumphed in boys singles in 2013.
   --Daniel Evans, the 2013 Aptos runner-up to former Stanford star Bradley Klahn, of Great Britain.
   --Alex Kuznetsov, the 2006 Aptos champion, from Tampa, Fla.
   --William Griffith, a Cal sophomore from Fresno.
   The Comerica Bank Challenger, in its 28th consecutive year, is the second-longest-running men's event on the USTA Pro Circuit behind Little Rock, Ark. (34 years).
   Scenic Aptos is located on the Pacific Ocean 80 miles (129 kilometers) south of San Francisco.
$100,000 COMERICA BANK CHALLENGER 
At Seascape Sports Club in Aptos, Calif.
Today's schedule (first-round qualifying)
Center Court
(Starting at 10 a.m.)
   Alex Bolt (6), Australia, vs. Eric Johnson, United States.
   Yasutaka Uchiyama (1), Japan, vs. Takao Suzuki, Japan.
(Not before noon)
   Radek Stepanek (8), Czech Republic, vs. Evan Song, United States.
   Noah Rubin, United States, vs. Clay Thompson, United States.
(Not before 2 p.m.)
   Nicolas Jarry (5), Chile, vs. Eric Quigley, United States.
First available court
   Frederik Nielsen (7), Denmark, vs. William Griffith, United States.
Court 5
(Starting at 10 a.m.)
   John Lamble, United States, vs. Takuto Niki, Japan.
   Ze Zhang (3), China, vs. Andre Dome, United States.
(Not before noon)
   Daniel Evans, Great Britain, vs. Kento Tanaka-Tamaki, United States.
   Enzo Couacaud (4), France, vs. Mischa Zverev, Germany.
(Not before 2 p.m.)
   Ernesto Escobedo, United States, vs. Nicholas S. Hu, United States.
Court 6
Starting at 10 a.m.)
   Tennys Sandgren, United States, vs. Matija Pecotic, Croatia.
   Alex Kuznetsov, United States, vs. Raymond Sarmiento, United States.
(Not before noon)
   Daniel Nguyen (2), United States, vs. Jeremy Hunter Nicholas, United States.
   Sekou Bangoura, United States, vs. Ruan Roelofse, South Africa.
(Not before 2 p.m.)
   Deiton Baughman, United States, vs. Fritz Wolmarans, South Africa.

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