Sunday, August 7, 2016

Top seed Evans to face Stanford star in 100K Aptos

Daniel Evans of Great Britain displays his runner-up check
in the 2013 Aptos (Calif.) Challenger. Evans held a cham-
pionship point against former Stanford star Bradley Klahn.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Top-seeded Daniel Evans of Great Britain will play wild card Tom Fawcett, who finished his sophomore year at Stanford in May, on Monday or Tuesday in the first round of the Nordic Naturals Challenger in Aptos, Calif.
   The draw for the $100,000 tournament at the Seascape Sports Club, situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean a one-hour drive south of Stanford, was held Saturday.
   The 26-year-old Evans, only 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters), helped Great Britain win its first Davis Cup title in 79 years in 2015 and reached the third round at Wimbledon this summer before falling to seven-time champion Roger Federer in straight sets.
   Evans, ranked No. 82, is no stranger to Aptos. He reached the final three years ago and held a championship point in a loss to former Stanford star Bradley Klahn.
   Second-seeded Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan will meet Evan King, a 24-year-old former University of Michigan All-American, in a first-round clash of left-handers.
   Nishioka, 20, reached his first semifinal on the ATP World Tour this week in Atlanta and advanced to the Aptos quarterfinals last year. He will improve from No. 97 to a career high of about No. 88 when the new rankings are released Monday.
   Third-seeded Bjorn Fratangelo drew fellow American Alex Kuznetsov, who won the Aptos title 10 years ago at 19.
   In an intriguing matchup, fourth-seeded Stefan Kozlov, 18, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., will take on Mackenzie McDonald, a 21-year-old wild card from Piedmont, Calif., for the first time. Piedmont is located a 90-minute drive north from Aptos.
   Kozlov shocked Steve Johnson on grass at s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands in June to reach his first quarterfinal on the ATP World Tour. Johnson, then ranked No. 39 and now No. 22, won Aptos in 2012.
   Kozlov advanced to the final of the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger at 16 in 2014, losing to former top-20 player Sam Querrey. Afterward, Querrey predicted that Kozlov eventually would crack the top 10. Kozlov has soared from No. 351 at the beginning of the year to No. 161.
   McDonald, playing for UCLA in May, became the first man to sweep the NCAA singles and doubles titles in 15 years. He then chose to skip his senior year and turn pro.
   In today's final round of qualifying, No. 6 seed John Lamble, a former Santa Clara University standout from nearby Saratoga, will face No. 1 Tucker Vorster of South Africa at 10 a.m.
   The Aptos tournament, in its 29th year, is the longest-running Challenger in the United States.
   Here are the singles main draw, qualifying draw and today's schedule.

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