Thursday, November 12, 2020

Novikov, Verbeek to meet in Cary doubles semifinals

Dennis Novikov, a 27-year-old San Jose, Calif.,
product, will face Sem Verbeek, a former Univ-
ersity of the Pacific star from the Netherlands,
in the doubles semifinals in Cary, N.C. 2018
photo by Paul Bauman
   Two players with Northern California ties are set to meet in the doubles semifinals in the Atlantic Tire Championships in Cary, N.C.
   Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia and Dennis Novikov, a 27-year-old San Jose product, beat fourth-seeded Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-4 [10-3] today in the $52,080 hardcourt tournament. Gabashvili, 35, and Novikov, the Cary singles champion in 2015, won the last nine points in the match tiebreaker.
   Earlier today, Hunter Reese of Knoxville, Tenn., and Sem Verbeek (University of the Pacific, 2013-16) of the Netherlands eliminated Peter Polansky of Canada and Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan 7-6 (6), 7-5. Reese and Verbeek, a 26-year-old left-hander, saved a set point at 5-6 in the tiebreaker.  
   The winners are scheduled to meet on Friday at about noon PST in the hardcourt tournament. Live streaming will be available. Today's matches were moved indoors because of rain.
   In the other doubles semifinal, top-seeded Luke Bambridge of Great Britain and Nathaniel Lammons of Dallas will play the unseeded American team of Nathan Pasha and Martin Redlicki.
   Golubev and Popko were born in Russia, and Nedovyesov hails from Ukraine. Kazakhstan, backed by billionaire Bulat Utemuratov, has become a tennis paradise offering extensive financial support, world-class facilities and top fitness trainers.
   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 Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14) of Sweden in Split, Croatia.
   Reese and Polansky, 32, have won one Cary doubles title apiece. Reese triumphed in 2018 with countryman Evan King, and Polansky prevailed in 2016 with since-retired Philip Bester of Canada.
   Polansky was severely injured in a three-story fall from his hotel room in Mexico in 2007. He needed 550 stitches in his legs and back after having a night terror and trying to escape through the window.
   Doctors initially suggested amputating one of Polansky's legs. Four months later, he reached the boys singles final in the U.S. Open.
   ITF women — In a clash of Californians, Hanna Chang defeated Katie Volynets 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of a $25,000 hardcourt tournament in Orlando, Fla.
   Chang, 22, of Fontana in the Los Angeles area evened her record against Volynets, 18, of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area at 1-1. In their first meeting, 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 fought for 2 hours, 37 minutes as the temperature rose to 80 degrees (26.7 Celsius).

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