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Top World-Ranked, U of I and Other Big Ten Players Continue in USTA Tournament

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Article by: Paige Allen, pallen@lc.edu

GODFREY – Top world-ranked players, current and past University of Illinois and other Big Ten players are still in to win Lewis and Clark Community College’s USTA Futures tournament.

U of I players Fares Ghasya, of Libya, American Tim Kopinski, and former U of I player Stephen Hoh, of Australia, will play their first rounds of main singles tomorrow morning.

Hoh plays American Evan Song. Ghasya will face Ronnie Schneider, and Kopinski will play Sahr Timothy Kpulun, of Sierra Leone.

Hoh won with doubles partner Isade Juneau, of Canada, Tuesday. They will play No. 2 Alex Blumenberg of Brazil, and Darian King of Barbados, in doubles quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon.

Two other Big Ten tennis players, Evan King and Peter Kobelt, spent Tuesday morning as singles opponents and the afternoon working together to win in doubles.

King won the singles match 7-5, 6-1. Then he and Kobelt posted a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Americans Sahak Bazrganian and Alexander Sarkissian Tuesday afternoon.

“I knew he would be a good opponent and the first set was challenging but I made it through,” King said. “We’ve never played doubles together, but he is a strong player.”

No. 3 King and Kobelt will play Texas A&M’s Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant Wednesday afternoon in the doubles quarterfinals.

In singles action Wednesday, No. 1 Darian King, of Barbados, will play Pavel Krainik, of Canada.

King is ranked No. 430 worldwide and is No. 1 in Barbados where he helped secure a win for his country 3-1 over Puerto Rico—maintaining Barbados’ position in Davis Cup Americas Zone Group II for 2014.

Krainik, of Canada, is ranked No. 794. He just finished playing in the Granby Challenger in Canada where he made it through qualifying and lost in round two of the main.

No. 2 Vijayant Malik, of India, has a No. 462 ranking and will face American Alexander Sarkissian.

No. 3 Daniel Garza, of Mexico, will play Daniil Proskura, of Armenia.

No. 7 Christopher Racz will play Jeremy Efferding, who made his way up through the qualifying rounds.

Other singles playing Wednesday are: Oleg Dmitrieve, of Russia vs. Marcos Giron, Nick Chappell vs. Dane Webb, Shane Vinsant vs. Devin McCarthy,

All seeded players posted wins Tuesday. No. 4 American Michael Shabaz defeated Blake Mott 6-2, 7-6(4). Shabaz currently has a No. 536 ITF ranking.

No. 5 Jonathan Cooper, of Australia, posted a victory over American Connor Farren 1-6, 7-5, 1-1, Ret.

No. 6 American Alexious Halebian defeated American Kyle McMorrow 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

American Noah Rubin also will advance to round two after defeating Sahak Bazrganian 6-3, 6-3.

Doubles Partners No. 1 Daniel Garza, of Mexico, and Roberto Maytin, of Venezuela, play doubles quarterfinals Wednesday after defeating Australian Leon Frost and American Christopher Racz 7-6(4), 6-3.

Garza and Maytin won the Joplin Futures Doubles Championship last week and will play Jeremy Efferding and Sean Weber Wednesday.

Singles play begins Wednesday at 9 a.m., and doubles start not before 3 p.m.

For more information about the tournament or to get directions to campus, call (618) 468-6252.