GODFREY – Oleg Dmitriev, 29, of Russia, was beaming when Andy Simpson personally congratulated him on his win in the last round of qualifying Monday in the USTA Futures at Lewis and Clark.
“It feels great to be in,” Dmitriev said. “It was a very good match and I’m looking forward to playing in my first main in a few months.”
No. 14 Dmitriev, who has a 1535 ITF ranking, defeated No. 4 American Dane Webb, a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.
Dmitriev said his last major USTA advance came when he made it through qualifying and into the semifinal this spring at the Vero Beach Futures.
No. 1 American Jeremy Efferding, a Texas A&M sophomore, clinched his spot posting a win of 6-3, 6-2 against Sean Weber, a sophomore at North Carolina State.
“It feels good to make it through. He was a good opponent with unique game skills,” Efferding said. “I dropped three games in row to him in the first set. It was trying, but I was able to refocus and remembered how privileged and blessed I am to be here.”
Fares Ghasya, of Libya, was the last U of I player in the qualifying round. He defeated No. 3 Jared Donaldson, 7-6(4), 7-5.
Other qualifying players who secured spots in the main include: No. 6 Marcos Giron, No. 9 Ronnie Schneider, No. 10 Sahr Timothy Kpulun, of Sierra Leone, No. 11 Devin McCarthy, and Daniil Proskura, of Armenia.
The first main round of singles begins Tuesday at 9 a.m., and doubles will start not before 11:30 a.m.
Tuesday’s singles matches include: Evan King (USA) vs. Peter Kobelt (USA); No. 4 Michael Shabaz (USA) vs. Blake Mott (AUS); Sahak Bazrganian (USA) vs. Noah Rubin (USA); Kyle McMorrow (USA) vs. No. 6 Alexios Halebian (USA); and Connor Farren (USA) vs. No. 5 Jonathan Cooper (AUS).
Doubles matches Tuesday include University of Illinois players Julian Childers and Tim Kopinski playing Illini alum Stephen Hoh, of Australia, and Isade Juneau, of Canada, not before 11: 30 a.m.
Texas A&M’s Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant will play Pavel Krainik, of Canada, and American Evan Song.
Doubles champions at Joplin last week, No. 1 Daniel Garza, of Mexico, and Roberto Maytin, of Venezuela, will face Leon Frost, of Australia, and American Christopher Racz.
No. 2 Alex Blumenberg, of Brazil, and Darian King, of Barbados, will play Americans Andre Dome and Kyle McMorrow.
No. 3 Americans Evan King and Peter Kobelt will play Americans Sahak Bazrganian
and Alexander Sarkissian.
No 4. Vijayant Malik, of India, and American Michael Shabaz will play Americans Nick Chappell and Dane Webb.
Americans Alexios Halebian and Noah Rubin will face Americans Marcos Giron and Devin McCarthy.
Australians Jonathan Cooper and Blake Mott will play Americans Jeremy Efferding and Sean Weber.
For more information about the tournament or to get directions to campus, call (618) 468-6252.