Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Ex-Pacific star advances in Cary Challenger doubles

   Two 26-year-old Europeans who starred at Northern California universities met today in the first round of doubles in the Atlantic Tire Championships in Cary, N.C.
   Sem Verbeek (Pacific, 2013-16) of the Netherlands teamed with Hunter Reese of Knoxville, Tenn., to beat second-seeded Andre Goransson (California, 2014-17) of Sweden and Ramkumar Ramanathan of India 6-1, 6-4 in the $52,080 hardcourt tournament.
   Today's matches were moved indoors because of rain. 
   Verbeek, a left-hander, won two Challenger doubles titles with Goransson last year. They also lost to Darian King of Barbados and Peter Polansky of Canada 6-4, 3-6 [12-10] in the final of the Fairfield, Calif., Challenger last fall.
   Reese, a 27-year-old former Tennessee All-American, recently reached back-to-back Challenger doubles finals on clay, winning with Jan Zielinski of Poland in Sibiu, Romania, and losing with Goransson in Split, Croatia.
   Reese and Verbeek are scheduled to play Polansky and Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan on Thursday not before 11 a.m. PST in the quarterfinals (live stream). Rain is forecast again.
   Reese and Polanski won Cary doubles titles with other partners. Reese triumphed in 2018 with American Evan King, and Polansky prevailed in 2016 with since-retired Philip Bester of Canada.
   Also Thursday, Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia and Dennis Novikov, a 27-year-old product of San Jose, Calif., are set to face fourth-seeded Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan at about 1:30 p.m. 
   ITF womenKatie Volynets, 18, of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, leads Hanna Chang of Fontana, Calif., in the Los Angeles area in a suspended match in a $25,000 hardcourt tournament in Orlando, Fla.
   Volynets, who won the USTA girls 18 national title in August 2019 and turned pro in December, won the first set 6-0. Chang was serving for the second set at 5-4, deuce when play was halted.
   Volynets and Chang, 22, are meeting for the second time. Volynets led 4-6, 7-5, 3-1 in the final round of qualifying for the 2018 Stockton, Calif., Challenger when Chang retired after suffering a head injury in a nasty fall during the second set. They battled for 2 hours, 37 minutes as the temperature rose to 80 degrees (26.7 Celsius).

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