Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jung edges Koepfer in thriller for 100K S.F. title

   Jason Jung could have folded after he was broken while serving for the title in the $100,000 San Francisco Open.
   He could have folded when he lost three consecutive points, the last two on his serve, to trail 3-4 in the third-set tiebreaker.
   But the Los Angeles-area native, who plays for Taiwan, recovered to beat Dominik Koepfer of Germany 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (5) today in an indoor battle of unseeded players at the Bay Club SF Tennis Center. It was the first meeting between Jung, 28, and Koepfer, a 23-year-old left-hander.
   Jung jumped from No. 205 in the world to No. 155, near his career high of No. 143, with his third Challenger singles final, the second-biggest of his career and his first outside of China.
   Koepfer, a former All-American at Tulane in New Orleans, rose from No. 285 to a career-high No. 229 after his first Challenger singles final.
  Jung graduated from the University of Michigan in political science in 2011 and worked for an oil company in his native Torrance for one month before being laid off. He planned to go to law school but didn't do as well on the admission test as he had hoped, so he launched his professional tennis career.
   Jung broke serve to lead 5-4 in the third set, but Koepfer broke back at love as Jung got tight and made several errors. Koepfer saved a break point to hold for 6-5, and Jung sent the match to a tiebreaker.
   Jung bolted to a 3-1 lead, but Koepfer rallied for a 4-3 advantage. Koepfer, probably feeling nerves of his own, then double-faulted for 4-4. With Koepfer serving at 5-6, he netted a forehand to end the match after 2 hours, 5 minutes.
   Jung pocketed $14,400, and Koepfer collected $8,480.
   Here are the completed singles and doubles draws.
   Fed Cup -- Canadian captain Sylvain Bruneau substituted 19-year-old Katherine Sebov for former Stanford star Carol Zhao, 22, in today's first match against Romania in World Group II.
   It didn't help.
   Irina-Camelia Begu, ranked 37th, defeated Sebov, ranked 319th, 6-2, 6-4 to clinch Romania's 3-1 victory in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In a meaningless doubles match, Gabriela Dabrowski and Zhao edged Ana Bogdan and Raluca Olaru 6-4, 1-6 [10-6]. The second reverse singles match was abandoned.
   Zhao, ranked No. 138, lost to No. 38 Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday.
   Romania was missing its top singles player, No. 2 Simona Halep, and Canada was without its top two singles competitors, 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.
   Romania advances to the World Group playoffs, and Canada drops to the World Group II playoffs.

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