Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pals Tiafoe, Kudla advance in Stockton Challenger

Frances Tiafoe volleys in the first round
of doubles during last week's $100,000
 Tiburon Challenger. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Frances Tiafoe, 18, and Denis Kudla, 24, come from the same club in the Washington, D.C., area. Kudla, in fact, has known Tiafoe since the latter was 4.
   Tiafoe and Kudla -- seeded third and fifth, respectively, in this week's $100,000 Stockton Challenger -- were the only players to advance in the first round of the main draw on Monday.
   Rain delayed the start of play for three hours at the new Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center at the University of the Pacific, but warm, sunny weather is forecast for the rest of the week.
   Tiafoe defeated Slovenia's Blaz Rola, the 2013 NCAA singles champion from Ohio State, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. Kudla beat wild card Nicolas Meister, a former UCLA All-American from Southern California, 7-6 (7), 6-2.
   The other six singles seeds, including Americans Bjorn Fratangelo (No. 1) and Tim Smyczek (No. 2), are scheduled to play their first-round matches today.
   So are last week's finalists in the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger, champion Darian King of Barbados and 18-year-old American Michael Mmoh. They could meet in the quarterfinals.
   Also in action will be San Francisco Bay Area products and former UCLA stars Dennis Novikov, seeded seventh, and Mackenzie McDonald. The 21-year-old McDonald, who reached the Tiburon semifinals for the second consecutive year, will face wild card Sem Verbeek, an ex-Pacific standout from the Netherlands.
   Here are:
   --The Stockton singles qualifying, singles main and doubles main draws and today's schedule.
   --The Redding women's singles qualifying, singles main and doubles main draws and today's schedule. The $25,000 tournament is being held at Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness.

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