Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Qualifier Sarmiento ousts No. 6 seed in 100K Aptos

   Two more seeds lost today in the $100,000 Nordic Naturals Challenger in Aptos, Calif., putting a wild card into the U.S. Open up for grabs.
   Qualifier Raymond Sarmiento, ranked No. 516, stunned fellow American Ernesto Escobedo, seeded sixth, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals at the Seascape Sports Club.
   Also, James McGee of Ireland dismantled No. 9 Mitchell Krueger of the United States 6-3, 6-1. Krueger, from Aledo, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, was seeded after No. 8 Dennis Nguyen of the United States withdrew with a right shoulder injury before the tournament.
   Escobedo (80 points) and Krueger (63) lead the U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge, which ends with the Aptos Challenger. The American with the most points in two of three tournaments, which also include $50,000 Binghamton, N.Y., and $50,000 Lexington, Ky., will earn a wild card into the U.S. Open, Aug. 29-Sept. 11 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   Escobedo will still receive the U.S. Open wild card unless one of the six Americans left in Aptos -- Sarmiento, No. 3 seed Bjorn Fratangelo, wild card Clay Thompson, qualifier Eric Quigley, Evan King or Sekou Bangoura -- wins the title. Then that player would get the wild card.
   Quigley eliminated Mackenzie McDonald, a 21-year-old Aptos wild card from Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
   With 1 1/2 rounds completed in Aptos, the only seeds left are No. 1 Daniel Evans of Great Britain and Fratangelo.
   Evans, the 2013 Aptos runner-up, will play McGee in Friday's quarterfinals. Evans held a championship point against former Stanford star Bradley Klahn in the 2013 final.
   Fratangelo will face the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Thompson today in the top half of the draw, when the remaining quarterfinal berths are determined. Sarmiento will play Quigley on Friday, ensuring that a qualifier will reach the semifinals. Qualifier Cameron Norrie of Great Britain also remains alive in the bottom half of the draw.
   Fratangelo, a 23-year-old former French Open junior champion, turned pro out of high school. Thompson (UCLA), Sarmiento (USC) , Quigley (Kentucky), King (Michigan) and Bangoura (Florida) are former All-Americans.
   Here are the singles and doubles draws and Thursday's schedule.        

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