Saturday, February 10, 2018

German routs NorCal's Novikov in 100K S.F. semis

   Dominik Koepfer of Germany dismissed San Jose product Dennis Novikov 6-3, 6-1 in 51 minutes today in a semifinal matchup of unseeded players in the $100,000 Kunal Patel San Francisco Open.
   Koepfer, a 23-year-old left-hander, has not lost a set in the indoor tournament at the Bay Club SF Tennis Center, surviving two tiebreakers.
  The former All-American at Tulane in New Orleans advanced to his first Challenger singles final. He won the $75,000 Columbus (Ohio) Challenger doubles crown with American Denis Kudla last September.
   Today's other semifinal also featured unseeded players. Jason Jung, a Los Angeles-area native who plays for Taiwan, beat Miomir Kecmanovic, an 18-year-old Serb, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2 in 1 hour, 58 minutes. Jung, only 5-foot-11 (1.80 meters), had 11 aces and only one double fault.
   Kecmanovic had needed 2 hours, 38 minutes to subdue third-seeded Michael Mmoh on Friday night, while Jung had breezed past sixth-seeded Noah Rubin in 52 minutes in the following match.
  Jung, 28, seeks his third Challenger singles title and first outside of China. He will face Koepfer, also 5-foot-11, for the first time on Sunday at 4 p.m.
   Jung is ranked No. 205, 80 spots above Koepfer. Their career highs are No. 143 (October 2016) and No. 239  (last October), respectively.
   Here are the singles and doubles draws and Sunday's schedule.
   Fed Cup -- Sorana Cirstea defeated former Stanford star Carol Zhao, making her Fed Cup singles debut, 6-2, 6-2 as Romania took a 2-0 lead over Canada in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in World Group II. In the second match, Irina-Camelia Begu beat 17-year-old Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2.
   Zhao, ranked No. 138, will try to keep Canada alive in the best-of-five-match competition when she faces Begu, ranked No. 37, in Sunday's first match.
   Romania is missing its top singles player, No. 2 Simona Halep, and Canada is without its top two singles players, No. 116 Eugenie Bouchard and No. 123 Francoise Abanda.
   Bouchard reached the 2014 Wimbledon final and climbed to a career-high No. 5 later that year. Abanda won the $25,000 Redding (Calif.) Challenger in 2016 at age 19.
   The four victorious nations in World Group II will play the four losers in the World Group for berths in next year's World Group, which determines the Fed Cup champion.

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