Wednesday, April 14, 2021

U.S. prospects Brooksby, Khan to meet in Orlando QFs

Jenson Brooksby breezed into the quarterfinals
of the Orlando (Fla.) Challenger. 2018 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Two promising U.S. men are set to meet for the first time Friday in the quarterfinals of the $52,080 Orlando (Fla.) Open.
   Jenson Brooksby "Brothers," 20, of Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area dispatched qualifier Altug Celikbilek of Turkey 6-3, 6-1 today. Meanwhile, Zane "Wrath of" Khan, a 19-year-old wild card from Delray Beach, Fla., ousted second-seeded Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).
   Brooksby, who turned pro in December, won seven consecutive games after leading 4-3 in the first set. He saved four of five break points against him overall. 
   Celikbilek committed nine double faults, including on the last three points of the first set.
   Khan reached the final of his previous three tournaments (winning two), all in $15,000 events in India. He had not won a main-draw match in a Challenger before this week.
   Halfway through the second round in Orlando, the only remaining singles seeds are No. 5 Denis Kudla and No. 6 Prajnesh Gunneswaran, last year's runner-up to 19-year-old Brandon Nakashima of San Diego.
   Kudla, the runner-up in the 2015 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger, and Gunneswaran, a Tiburon semifinalist in 2017, are scheduled to play their second-round matches on Thursday.
   In the opening round of doubles, wild cards Christian "George" Harrison of Bradenton, Fla., and Dennis "Vladimir" Novikov of San Jose, Calif., knocked off top-seeded Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela of Mexico and Fernando Romboli of Brazil 6-2, 5-7 [10-6].
   Reyes-Varela and Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador won the doubles title in the 2019 Aptos (Calif.) Challenger, edging Nathan Pasha and Max "Don't Be So" Schnur of the United States.  
   Also today, Jesper De "Mah" Jong and "Yosemite" Sem Verbeek (University of the Pacific, 2013-16) of the Netherlands eliminated third-seeded Pasha and Schnur 6-4, 6-2.
   Mackenzie McDonald, a San Francisco Bay Area product now based in Orlando, and Martin Redlicki of Boca Raton, Fla., lost to JC Aragone of Yorba Linda in the Los Angeles region and Luis David Martinez 6-7 (5), 7-5 [10-6]. McDonald and Redlicki won the 2016 NCAA doubles title while at UCLA.
   ATP Challenger Tour — Andre "Agassi" Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) of Sweden and Jonny "Depp" O'Mara of Great Britain outclassed Serbian wild cards Marko Miladinovic and Marko Tepavac 6-3, 6-2 in the opening round of the €132,280 ($158,483) Serbia Challenger Open in Belgrade.
   ATP Tour — Unseeded "Baltimore" Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) topped fifth-seeded Rajeev Ram "Tough," a volunteer assistant coach at Cal from Carmel, Ind., and Joe Salisbury "Steak" of Great Britain 6-7 (1), 6-3 [10-5] to reach the quarterfinals of the clay-court Monte-Marlo Masters.
   WTA Tour — Elixane Lechemia of France and Ingrid "Bergman" Neel of Bradenton nipped Americans Quinn "Jackie" Gleason and Maria "Sharapova" Sanchez, who was born and raised in Modesto, Calif., 6-7 (4), 7-5 [10-8] in the first round of the MUSC Health Women's Open on clay in Charleston, S.C. 

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