Monday, September 21, 2015

Novikov captures first career Challenger singles title

Dennis Novikov, playing doubles in the
recent U.S. Open, won the singles crown
in Cary, N.C. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Dennis Novikov of Milpitas in the San Francisco Bay Area won his first career Challenger singles title on Sunday.
   The seventh-seeded Novikov beat fifth-seeded Ryan Harrison of Austin, Texas, 6-4, 7-5 on a hardcourt in the final of the $50,000 Cary (N.C.) Tennis Championships.
   Novikov, 21, soared 45 places in the world rankings to a career-high No. 163. Harrison, 23, improved 13 spots to No. 116. He reached a career-high No. 43 in 2012.
   The 6-foot-3 (1.90-meter) Novikov turned pro in 2013 after leading UCLA to the NCAA final as a sophomore.
   Novikov won the singles and doubles titles in the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 2012 to earn wild cards for both main draws in the U.S. Open. 
   Novikov reached the second round in each event at Flushing Meadows. He shocked 86th-ranked Jerzy Janowicz, a 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Pole and Wimbledon semifinalist in 2013, in singles and teamed with Michael Redlicki to knock off U.S. veterans Bobby Reynolds and Michael Russell in doubles.

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