GODFREY – Darian King, of Barbados, would like a repeat.
King, the top seeded player in the Lewis and Clark USTA $10K Futures, won the singles championship in Joplin’s $10K USTA Futures tournament last week.
Today, he is one step closer to his goal—posting a first-round win against Canadian Pavel Krainik 6-3, 6-0.
“I played pretty well today and I’m feeling good about moving to the next round,” said King, who is ranked No. 430.
Of the 16 singles players advancing to the next round, five made it through the qualifying round including: Americans Ronnie Schneider, Marcos Giron, Devin McCarthy, Jeremy Efferding and Daniil Proskura, of Armenia.
Other singles advancing to round two include: No. 2 Vijayant Malik, of India, No. 4 American Michael Shabaz, No. 5 Jonathan Cooper, of Australia, No. 6 American Alexios Halebian, No. 8 Alex Blumenberg, of Brazil, Americans Dane Webb, Noah Rubin, Evan Song, Tim Kopinski and Evan King
A University of Virginia standout, Shabaz won his first USTA Pro Circuit singles title at the $10,000 Futures in Pittsburgh in early July. At Virginia, he reached the singles semis in the 2011 NCAA Championships losing to Steve Johnson. In 2010, he won the NCAA doubles title with Drew Courtney. As a junior player, he won the Wimbledon doubles title in 2005 with Jesse Levine.
Halebian is a former junior standout who peaked at No. 24 in the ITF World Junior rankings in April 2012. He also won the 2011 USTA boys 18’s National Clay Court
Championship and reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 Junior U.S. Open.
Kopinski, who earned a wild card after winning the Bud Simpson Open earlier this summer, is a standout University of Illinois player entering his junior year. He finished the 2012-13 season with the second most wins on the team at 22-18 overall record and a 13-11 dual match record. He also was a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection, Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week, Strength and Conditioning Award Winner, and an Academic All-Big Ten.
Rubin was America’s top junior to begin 2013, having ascended as high as No. 6 in the world in January. A pupil of John McEnroe’s Academy at Randalls Island, N.Y., Rubin reached the quarterfinals at the 2012 French Open Junior Championships and has represented the U.S. in the Junior Davis Cup (16 and under).
Ronnie Schneider, 18, of Bloomington, Indiana, grinded his way through the qualifying rounds, he defeated U of I player Fares Ghasya, of Libya, 6-4, 6-2 Wednesday.
Schneider, who is staying with the Dosso family, was the national champion in the USTA 18’s singles and doubles, and champion in the 16’s at Kalamazoo in 2011. He will be playing for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill this fall.
It’s American Marcos Giron’s first time in the Lewis and Clark Futures.
“I have a wonderful host family, the Suttons, and they are taking very good care of me,” Giron said. “This is a great tournament.”
Doubles semifinals will include the Jeremy Efferding and Sean Webber who will face No. 3 Evan King and Peter Kobelt, and Marcos Giron and Devin McCarthy who will play No. 2 Alex Blumenberg and Darian King.
Singles play begins at 9 a.m. and doubles semifinals will begin not before 1 p.m.
For more information about the tournament or to get directions to campus, call (618) 468-6252.