Saturday, June 22, 2019

Sacramento native Riffice reaches $25K Tulsa final again

   Unseeded Sam Riffice, a 20-year-old Sacramento native, beat wild card Ezekiel Clark 6-3, 6-3 today to reach the final of the $25,000 Tulsa (Okla.) Pro Championships for the second consecutive year.
   The 5-foot-6 (1.70-meter) Clark, who will be a senior at Illinois, was playing in his hometown.
   Riffice, the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year at Florida and a quarterfinalist in last month's NCAA Championships, has not lost more than four games in a set in his four matches this week.
   Riffice eliminated eighth-seeded Alexander Ritschard, a 25-year-old Swiss native who plays for the United States, 6-2, 6-3 in the second round and third-seeded Alexander Sarkissian, the 2014 NCAA singles runner-up from Pepperdine, 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
   Riffice, a 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) Orlando, Fla., resident, is scheduled to play top-seeded Maxime Cressy, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Paris native who plays for the United States, on Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT. Cressy beat former UCLA teammate Martin Redlicki, the fourth seed and last year's NCAA doubles champion with Evan Zhu, 7-5, 6-3.
   In their only previous meeting, Riffice defeated Cressy 5-2, retired in the first round in Tulsa last year.
   Riffice is 0-3 in singles finals in professional tournaments. He lost to Marc-Andrea Huesler, a 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) left-hander from Switzerland, 6-4, 6-2 last year in Tulsa.
   Cressy won the $81,240 Cleveland Challenger in February as a qualifier and the NCAA doubles title with the Bruins' Keegan Smith last month in Orlando.

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