SoCal Pro Tennis – Southern California Tennis News Tennis News, Events, Community Activities, Tournaments Fri, 17 Aug 2018 20:54:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top Women’s Pros Returning To Templeton Mon, 13 Aug 2018 20:20:14 +0000 Read more »]]> Some of the top up-and-coming women’s professional tennis players will return to the Central Coast next month as the Templeton Tennis Ranch (“TTR”; once again hosts the Central Coast Pro Tennis Open, a United States Tennis Association (USTA) $60,000 Women’s Pro Circuit event set for Sept. 23 to Sept. 30.

This will be TTR’s second annual USTA Pro Circuit professional event and will attract more than 80 WTA players who are ranked from No. 100 to No. 350 in the world, along with their support teams and families.

Last year’s champion Sachia Vickery.

Local tennis enthusiasts and the general public are invited to enjoy eight days of professional tennis, tournament chairman and host and TTR owner Ralph Goehring recently announced.

The tournament will include a free Kid’s Day; social events; public clinics; a pro-am event, plus a wild card invitational giving local players the opportunity to enter the tournament.

“We are excited to host this prestigious world-class tennis event for the second year here in SLO County,” Goehring said. “Our goal is to elevate the sport of tennis in our region and provide a family-friendly venue to watch pro tennis. Last year’s singles champion, Sachia Vickery, is now ranked 73rd in the world (having come into Templeton ranked No. 127) and we watched her defeat the world-ranked No. 3 player at Indian Wells earlier this year as she continues to rise in the rankings.”

Goehring continued: “Many of the athletes who will compete in Templeton will have just played at the US Open in New York, one of tennis’ most prestigious events and the year’s final Grand Slam. We will certainly attract some top emerging talent.”

The Central Coast Pro Tennis Open is one of 90 USTA Pro Circuit tournaments that take place each year throughout the nation. These tournaments provide a pathway for aspiring tennis players to earn valuable ATP and WTA world-ranking points, and get into larger tournaments, including the four Grand Slams: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

The USTA is excited to partner with Templeton Tennis Ranch for a second year in bringing professional tennis to California’s Central Coast,” said Megan Rose, Senior Director of the USTA Pro Circuit. “This tournament was well received by the local community last year and we hope more people will enjoy the action this year. The USTA Pro Circuit is the largest developmental tennis tour in the world, and one of our goals is to pair pro tennis with communities that welcome professional athletes in their journey to the top. We know that the athletes enjoyed the outstanding facility at TTR and the beautiful Central Coast region last year and we expect some excellent tennis again this year.”

Goehring noted that an event like this will certainly bring hundreds of visitors to the region. He added that it takes a community to put on an event of this magnitude. He invites businesses, organizations and individuals to help with lodging, hospitality, refreshments, transportation and more for the competitors. Additionally, the tournament allows for local kids and adults to be on-court to retrieve balls for the players during matches. So far, Tennis Warehouse, KJons Jewelers, Tiebreaker Brewing Company, Vacasa, Medina Light Show Designs, ESPN Radio, Maserati Alfa Romeo of Bakersfield, Tolusa Wines, SoCal Tennis Association and Simply Clear Marketing & Media have signed on as key sponsors, but more are needed.

“This tournament put the Central Coast on the world tennis map, and it is our honor and privilege to again host this tournament,” Goehring said. “Our hope is that this inspires our local tennis enthusiasts to come together while introducing our greater community to the attributes of this wonderful, health-driven, lifelong sport.”

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Girls Nationals: Day leads SoCal contingent at San Diego Tue, 07 Aug 2018 17:21:20 +0000 Read more »]]> Play continues today at the USTA Billie Jean King Girls Nationals, featuring the top American 16s and 18s in competition at Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. The 16s division has entered Round of 32 play, while the 18s draw resumes play in the Round of 64.

Hina Inoue (Huntington Beach) was dominant in early rounds, earning 6-0 sets in two of her first three matches. She next meets Carmen Corley, a #17 seed. Also in 16s, Rebecca Lynn (Newport Beach) meets top seed Gianna Pielet on Tuesday, while Kimberly Hance (Torrance) meets Kylie Collins.

In the 18s bracket, top seed Kayla Day continues to recover from injury at a tournament she’s won before. The Santa Barbara native was convincing in her opening round match and meets Esther Lovato in the Round of 64. Tough draws also await Nicole Mossmer (La Jolla), who’s won all four of her sets at a 6-1 tally. Mossmer faces off with America upstart Cori Gauff on Tuesday, while San Marino’s Anessa Lee meets talented Whitney Osuigwe.

Other 18s moving forward include Camille Kiss (Redlands), Amanda Chan (Pasadena), Open Sectionals champion Salma Ewing (Lakewood), Jennifer Gadalov (Los Angeles), Lindsay Hung (Oceanside), Rena Lin (Northridge), Charlotte Chavatipon (Fullerton), Jenna DeFalco (Tustin), and Vivian Cheng (Santa Monica).

Draws and live streaming video are available at the tournament website, http://www.ustagirlsnationals.
com. Weekend semis and finals will air on the Tennis Channel beginning Saturday.

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WTT San Diego Aviators’ Kids Zone Brings Joy to Families Fri, 20 Jul 2018 20:43:55 +0000 Read more »]]> Great professional tennis happened recently with the World Team Tennis San Diego Aviators on the bright multicolored center court featured at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa. However, great recreational Net Generation youth tennis also happened at the Aviators’ Kids Zone, a yearly hotspot for young players on the modified “Red” court just steps away from the main event. The Kids Zone is a program sponsored by the USTA Southern California, and it is available before and during Aviators matches.

“It was great fun to host the Kids Zone,” said Melanie Bischoff, the SCTA Director of Community Tennis. “The kids are inspired by the pros and also enjoy playing with their friends.”

The World Team Tennis regular season runs from July 15 to August 2, and Aviators fans will enjoy outstanding play by San Diego hometown stars Taylor Fritz and Coco Vandeweghe along with Naomi Broady (Great Britain), Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Germany), Marcin Matkowski (Poland) and Marcus Willis (Great Britain). The Aviators are led by Coach John Lloyd, who guided the team to its 2016 league championship. The Aviators’ General Manager is Jim Ault, who is an integral part of San Diego tennis leadership, and has been associated with San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club, Barnes Tennis Center and the Bay Club in Carmel Valley.

The fast-paced World Team Tennis format was the brainchild of founder Billie Jean King, whose vision, determination and persistence has made the league an enduring reality. The San Diego franchise was created in 2014 and previously featured the Southern California legendary doubles team of Mike and Bob Bryan. The current addition of the Aviators’ mascot, ACE, has brought additional joy to the event.

The excitement of pro tennis bubbled over to the Aviators-USTA Kids Zone, which hosted a modified “Red” court on an adjacent grass area with an 18-foot net using red felt balls and 23-inch rackets. Dozens of youth ages 2 to 14 rallied, played impromptu recreational games and enjoyed tennis activities before and during Aviators matches.

“USTA So Cal is honored to be a part of the 2018 World Team Tennis Season and it’s a great partnership for both of us, working together to grow the sport,” said Cari Buck, the SCTA Director of Marketing.  “Kids can come and hit balls, play games and pose for pictures with our giant tennis racket. Moms and Dads can continue to watch the tennis knowing their kids are safe, a win-win for everyone.”

“I love tennis,” said Eddie Hastings, a finalist in the Boys 12 division of the Little Mo So Cal Sectionals. “My mom is in the stands watching the matches, and I wanted to play here.” Hastings then proceeded to play games with friends that are all active in USTA junior tennis.

Click for more information on the San Diego Aviators and Newport Beach’s Orange County Breakers.


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WEEKEND WRAP: Juniors Kick off Wimbledon Draws Mon, 09 Jul 2018 18:28:51 +0000 Read more »]]>

From the All England Club, Mike Bryan (Camarillo) remains in the hunt for a Men’s doubles title at Wimbledon. Bryan is teamed with Jack Sock while Bob Bryan recovers from injury. This new tandem, seeded at #7, will face Sharan/Sitak in the quarterfinals. San Diego native Abigail Spears, a French Open doubles champion this year, teams with Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal as they enter the third round of Mixed Doubles. The #USTennis team of Sloane Stephens & Jack Sock remain alive in the draw as well.

In Boys singles, #11 seed Tristan Boyer (Altadena) and Brandon Nakashima (San Diego) headline local competitors who open junior competition this week in Britain. Boyer won his opening round match in three sets opposite Jonas Forejtek (CZE), while Nakashima cruised in straight sets over Brazil’s Joao Lucas Reis Da Silva. Woodland Hills’ Emilio Nava tallied a straight set win over Leopold Zima of Germany. Govind Nanda (Cerritos) ousted Argentinian Facundo Diaz Acosta in straight sets to open his Wimbledon tournament.

David Wagner (Fullerton) swept both singles and doubles crowns at the wheelchair Swiss Open at Geneva.

At the Pro Circuit in Wichita, USC’s Brandon Holt was a doubles champion (with UCLA’s Maxime Cressy) and singles quarterfinalist. UCLA’s graduated senior Martin Redlicki also reached the singles quarters.

Ashley Kratzer (Newport Beach), Danielle Lao (Arcadia), and Asia Muhammad (Long Beach) head to the islands for the USTA Honolulu Pro Circuit this week. San Diego’s Lauren Haneke-Hopps will compete in the women’s open of the Midwest Wheelchair Championships in Grand Rapids. Also in the Midwest, JC Aragone (Yorba Linda), Ernesto Escobedo (West Covina), and Marcos Giron (Thousand Oaks) compete in a Pro Circuit Challenger outside Chicago, IL.


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Wimbledon 2018: TeamSoCal alive and well Thu, 05 Jul 2018 16:26:30 +0000 Read more »]]> The tourney across the pond is well underway, and already the results out of Wimbledon are favorable towards some of #USTennis brightest young stars – many of them, products of Southern California!

Starting with the gentlemen, the story of the tournament so far is former #UCLABruins champion Mackenzie McDonald, who opened the fortnight with his first career Wimbledon main draw win, securing a fourth set tiebreaker over Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania. In the 2nd Round, “Mackie” went the distance (and then some) in a five set thriller and emerged victorious with an 11-9 deciding set. He meets Guido Pella of Argentina. Pella eliminated #3 Marin Cilic in a five-set stunner earlier this week.

Taylor Fritz

Sam Querrey (Santa Monica) cruised in his first round and notched a routine win in the second, leading to a forthcoming showdown with the exciting Frenchman Gael Monfils. Bradley Klahn (Poway) and Taylor Fritz (Palos Verdes) also won opening round matches and each draws a formidable second round opponent. With a win over Yuichi Sugita (JPN), Klahn next meets home court favorite #21 Kyle Edmond. Fritz faces an even tougher battle with #4 Alexander Zverev of Germany.

It was a tough road for Steve Johnson (Redondo Beach), who suffered a five set defeat in the opening round opposite Ruben Bemelmans, who was later eliminated by the top-ranked American John Isner in another five-setter. Jared Donaldson (Irvine) dropped his first two sets in the second round, only to storm back and even the match against #31 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. Both players looking drained in the fifth, Tsitsipas eventually emerged victorious. Jack Sock, the #18 seed, was quietly dispatched in the opening round.

Jennifer Brady

On the ladies’ side, Coco Vandeweghe (Rancho Santa Fe) and defending US Open titlist Sloane Stephens both suffered opening round losses. Vandeweghe, the #16 seed, split the first two sets before falling 8-6 in the third to Katerina Siniakova (CZE), while #4 Stephens was ineffective in a lopsided defeat at the hands of Croatia’s Donna Vekic.

Claire Liu (Thousand Oaks) started strong with a first round victory at the All England Club, but the draw was unlucky when she stood opposite #11 Angelique Kerber of Germany, a finalist in 2016. Liu came out swinging and notched the first set, but Kerber elevated her game to secure the win in three sets.

Still alive in the second round, former #UCLABruins standout Jennifer Brady won her first round encounter in three sets, and will meet #28 Anett Kontaveit (EST) in her next match. Venus and Serena Williams have both advanced to the second round.

Vania King (Monterey Park) was a straight set winner in her opening doubles match alongside teammate Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia.

Follow your local SoCal athletes as they compete year ’round!

Instagram @USTAsocal 

Facebook @USTASouthernCalifornia

Twitter @USTAsocal

YouTube USTA Southern California

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SoCal Officials Selected To The 2018 U.S. Open Mon, 02 Jul 2018 18:52:56 +0000 Read more »]]> The USTA National Officiating Department has published the list of Southern California officials selected for the 2018 U.S. Open.

This is the singular highest honor for an American tennis official in the Professional Pathway. For many on this list, it is the result of years of hard work and dedication.  We are all very proud of the significant accomplishment of the following Southern California Officials Selected to the 2018 U.S. Open.  Congratulations to:

John Bramlett

Selwyn Brereton

Bob Christianson

Teri Cohn

Marcos Cook

Sean Cook

James Flood

Holly Haggerty

Steven Hartshorn

Lei Ji

Steve Kasner

David Martinez

Michael Recasner

Maureen Regan

Linda Sharpe

Jill Spencer

Wayne Spencer

Bob Tomanek

Albert Ton

Bob Wiebe

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WEEKEND WRAP: Bonjour! TeamSoCal heads to Paris Tue, 29 May 2018 17:16:10 +0000 Read more »]]> There’s no better time than the present to love competitive tennis in Southern California. Our favorite hometown pros are doing business in France at Roland Garros, while SoCal futures are touring the globe and stars of tomorrow are hoisting trophies in NCAA competition. Let’s get right to our #WeekendWrap!

Sam Querrey (SCTA)

At the French Open, a much anticipated first round match between Sam Querrey (Santa Monica) and exciting compatriot Frances Tiafoe proved to be a near landslide, as Querrey advanced in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (8). Querrey also competes in doubles alongside Mike Bryan (Camarillo) – ending a streak of 76 Grand Slam appearances for the Bryan Brothers tandem (Bob Bryan is recovering from a hip injury). Even more, Querrey is slated to be married on June 9 – the same day as the scheduled doubles final.

After a semifinal appearance last week in Geneva, Steve Johnson (Redondo Beach) notched an easy straight set win in the first round at Paris, while Jared Donaldson (Irvine) survived a five set marathon after winning the first set and dropping the next two. Taylor Fritz (Palos Verdes) suffered an unlucky five-set exit in the opening round after a quarterfinal last week in Lyon. He will team with Tiafoe in French Open doubles.

On the Women’s side, Coco Vandeweghe (Rancho Santa Fe) was solid in a Round 1 straight set win, while former UCLA Bruin Jennifer Brady cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory. Brady will also join forces in doubles with Vania King (Monterey Park), who fell in her singles meeting with the #31 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Other French Open notes: Sloane Stephens was dominant in her first round win, 6-2, 6-0… USC’s Kaitlyn Christian joins (Orange) with Germany’s Carina Witthoeft in women’s doubles… Venus Williams was ousted in the first round, while Serena Williams moved on to the second round to face #17 seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia.

In Singapore, reigning Long Beach Pro Circuit champion Collin Altamirano won both singles and doubles titles. Ashley Kratzer (Newport Beach) reached the semifinals on the Pro Circuit in Florida, while Asia Muhammad (Long Beach) made the quarters on the ITF circuit in Japan.

In Winston Salem, the UCLA Bruin tandem of Martin Redlicki & Evan Zhu (Irvine) were crowned NCAA Mens Doubles champions with a thrilling win over Ohio State’s Joyce/Torpegaard. The win caps a stellar tennis career for Redlicki at UCLA, while Zhu captured his first NCAA hardware.

In NCAA Women’s finals, Pepperdine’s sophomore sensation Ashley Lahey (Hawthorne) suffered an ankle injury early in her championship final with Arienne Hartono, the senior from Ole Miss. Lahey is the first Pepperdine player to reach an NCAA singles final, but Hartono held the momentum in their finale by winning the title in straight sets.

And for the first time in school history, the women’s squad Claremont Mudd Scripps toppled both Emory and defending champion Williams – both higher ranked Division III rivals – to win the D3 team championship on their home court. CMS and Emory traded blows for nearly four hours in the finale before Rebecca Berger‘s #5 singles win closed out a 5-4 victory for the Athenas.

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WEEKEND WRAP: SoCal has impact in Davis Cup win Mon, 09 Apr 2018 16:21:00 +0000 Read more »]]> The top two #SoCal men on the ATP Tour were front and center in Nashville as the United States rolled through the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup, as Sam Querrey (Santa Monica) and Steve Johnson (Redondo Beach) rounded out the #TeamUSA squad that will now move to the semifinals for the first time in six years. John Isner and Ryan Harrison joined Querrey in notching singles wins, and Harrison paired with Jack Sock to lock up the doubles point. Davis Cup semifinals are scheduled in September, when the US squad will meet Croatia.

In Carson at the #USTA International Spring Championships, San Diego’s Brandon Nakashima toppled Tristan Boyer (Altadena) in the Boys 18s final. Boyer competed in both singles and doubles finals, and was understandably digging deep into the reserves after playing 32 sets in the past few weeks. Still, Nakashima was cool and consistent in posting a solid 6-0, 6-0 championship win.

Hurricane Tyra Black was the Girls’ winner, in three sets over Georgia Drummy.

The Men’s tour shifts to clay as we head toward Roland Garros. Querrey, Johnson, Ernesto Escobedo (West Covina), Taylor Fritz (Palos Verdes), and Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA/Los Angeles) headline the main draw, while Bradley Klahn (Poway) is slated for the tournament qualifier. Bob & Mike Bryan lead the charge in doubles play.

In Florida, the USTA Pro Circuit at Indian Harbour Beach features Kayla Day (Santa Barbara) in the main draw, while Ashley Kratzer (Newport Beach) is on court with the Pro Circuit in Alabama.

The WTA International event in Bogota will include Nicole Gibbs (Santa Monica) and the former USC Trojan doubles tandem of Sabrina Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian in action.

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Calabasas Men’s Pro Tennis Championship Weekend Fri, 23 Mar 2018 21:39:27 +0000 Read more »]]>

  • Friday Evening, March 23, starting at 6:00 PM
  • Saturday, March 24, 12:00 noon –
  • 6:00 PMSunday, March 25, 1:00 – 5:00 PM

With the rains this week, we’ll be playing extra matches on 4 courts all through the day on Friday starting at 10:00 AM. Friday evening is going to feel like a New York, U.S. Open night session, with multiple matches into the evening and lots of doubles. There will be plenty of action Friday night!


Friday evening USTA League Players’ Challenge &
Community Tennis Appreciation

Saturday is KID’S DAY, 10:30 AM – Noon, followed by matches all day!

Sunday Singles & Doubles Finals, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

For more information:

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Ballkids Have Best Seat in the House Mon, 19 Mar 2018 19:17:27 +0000 Read more »]]> The best seat in the house at a professional tennis tournament is not found at center court loge, not in the luxury suites, or in the front row along the baseline. These are coveted positions, of course, but none compare to the experience of a ballkid, situated on court and mere steps away from the greatest tennis players in the world.

“We get a better view than people who spend hundreds of dollars,” says Kyla, a 17-year old from Rancho Mirage, one of dozens of ballkids who scurried around the grounds, in queue and moving in unison from stadium to stadium throughout three weeks of the BNP Paribas Open. Their trademark blue and green uniforms help them stand out among everyone else, and they are unmistakable on court as they chase balls, deliver towels, and play a pivotal role in maintaining the pace of every match.

The role of a ballkid is not without preparation and training, according to 15-year old Brendan, of Palm Springs, Calif. Learning the ropes is a process that begins in January, with rookies spending up to eight hours in training on practice courts at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. From ball toss and roll to switching of sides and moving equipment where it needs to be, ballkids study very specific timing and movements to excel in their role. The four-day training (fewer for more seasoned ballkids) is worth it for these youngsters, who find themselves in the center of it all when tournament play begins.

Kyla, a fourth year ballkid from Rancho Mirage, admits that studying the pros for tips and pointers is rather difficult due to the busywork being done on court. “We don’t have time to analyze the players,” she says, “but still, you’re on the court to experience it.”

There’s still a great deal of access for ballkids to meet the world’s best tennis players. Nina, a 14-year old from La Quinta, was quick to chase autographs of her favorite players, including Vania King, Caroline Wozniacki, and US Open champ Sloane Stephens. She’d hoped to get some scribble from Hyeon Chung, the young Korean favorite, before the tournament ended.

Ultimately, the biggest perk of the job is the chance to physically immerse themselves in the match. Players come to ballkids for towels between points, look to the youngsters for a new ball or a water bottle, and hide from the sun under umbrellas held by a young boy or girl.

And the ballkids? It’s true – they’ve truly got that best seat in the house.

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INDIAN WELLS: Who’s that American in the Quarterfinals? Fri, 16 Mar 2018 17:35:49 +0000 Read more »]]> For the better part of two weeks, Sam Querrey has flown well under the radar. On an outer practice court, he attracts a smattering of fans to watch a mundane workout leading up to his next match. In a year when competitors are given the chance to earn a cool extra million dollars by claiming both a singles and doubles title, Querrey was at one point the final player eligible for the prize. Yet nobody really noticed.

Sam Querrey on the Indian Wells practice courts this week.


On Stadium 1 at the BNP Paribas Open today, Querrey (Santa Monica) will be two sets away from finally making a blip on the radar. In a quarterfinal match with #32 seed Milos Raonic, Querrey looks to reach his second semifinal of the year (he reached the final at the ATP New York Open in February) and seeks his first tournament win since last August at Los Cabos.

Yet in a fortnight that featured the return of Serena and her inevitable collision with Venus, the fall of Djokovic, the emergence of Fritz, the stress of Simona, and the uncanny dominance of Roger Federer, Everyman Sam Querrey has kept a quiet pace as the only remaining American in the men’s draw.

In his last two events – Florida and Mexico – Querrey was “one and done” with quick exits, bringing into question his preparedness for Indian Wells. With a first round bye last week, the #21 seed premiered in Round 2 with a straight set victory over Mischa Zverev in a drawn out, 95-minute contest. Opposite Yuki Bhambri in the third round, Querrey lost a first set tiebreak but remained steady enough to take down the former Aussie Open junior champion in nearly two and a half hours. And in the third round, he benefitted from a relatively quick 6-3, 6-4 win over Feliciano Lopez of Spain.

All the while, Querrey teamed with Gilles Muller to reach the 3th round of men’s doubles, logging an additional 6+ sets and nearly five extra hours of tennis in the desert. Hardly another early exit for Querrey, who returns to the court today at high noon for a chance at the semifinals.

You’d have to believe that a win today would, at long last, put Querrey in the headlines of the tennis world.


The #7 seeded Bryan Brothers are one win away from a shot at their 115th title together, facing Cuevas/Zeballos in the semifinals on Friday. The twin tandem was challenged in their first match last week, but ultimately dominated a decisive tiebreak. They have since won straight sets throughout, and could potentially face fellow Americans Sock/Isner in what would be a highly entertaining doubles final. Sock/Isner meet the #3 seed Marach/Pavic later today… Tournament Director Tommy Haas, a former world #2 and still active on the ATP Tour, announced his retirement on Thursday night. Haas will remain at the helm of the event moving forward, but closes a 21-year career with 15 career titles and 569 career wins… BNP Paribas has awarded the third annual BNP Paribas Open scholarships to Jade Rios and Jennifer Gomez, both students at Desert Mirage High School in the Coachella Valley. The pair received a $15,000 college grant on Thursday at an event at the school and will be recognized on Saturday during an on-court presentation at the Open.

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Calabasas Pro Futures Event Takes Place Next Week Thu, 15 Mar 2018 01:50:18 +0000 Read more »]]> The Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center will once again play host to the 2018 USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas, a men’s $25,000.00 USTA Pro Circuit Futures tournament. The event will follow the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and will take place March 19-25.

A Wild Card tournament took place and was won by high school junior Jacob Bullard, who beat top-seeded Isaiah Strode in the singles final for a main draw wild card. Bullard, who will play his college tennis at the University of Texas in Austin, teamed with Pacific Palisades high school senior and future USC Trojan Jake Sands to win the doubles wild card tournament. The other main draw singles wild card went to local Calabasas junior Bruno Krenn.

Jeff Richards with 2017 Calabasas winner Sebastian Fanselow and Steve McAvoy.

“We hope our local and San Fernando Valley and Ventura County tennis fans will be ready for some local professional tennis after going to the desert for the BNP Paribas event,” said Jeff Richards, tournament director. “We have a deep field once again this year with some rising American players, as well as some top young international players who are the future of the ATP Tour.”

French player Mathias Bourgue is expected to be the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Currently ranked No. 240 in the ATP World Tour rankings, Bourgue received a wild card to advance to the singles main draw in the 2016 French Open, where he reached the second round, losing to world No. 2 Andy Murray in five sets. Former Pepperdine All-American and NCAA Championship singles finalist Alex Sarkissian from Glendale is seeded No. 2, and will likely be followed by other top players Christopher Heyman of Belgium, Kaichi Uchida of Japan and Roberto Ortega-Olmedo of Spain.

Former college stars and NCAA champions Raymond Sarmiento (USC), JC Aragone and Ryan Shane (both from the University of Virginia) are also entered into the main draw.

American players expected to compete in qualifying are players ranked from No. 490 to the 700s. They include: former University of North Carolina star Ronnie Schneider; Las Vegas’ Evan Song; teenager and Team USA player Ulises Blanch, Nicholas Hu, Deiton Baughman, Collin Altamirano; Alexios Halebian, Martin Redlicki and Henry Craig.

Admission is free to the general public to see the matches from qualifying on Saturday, March 17 through Main Draw preliminary matches on Thursday, March 22. Qualifying is set for March 17, 18, and 19, with sign in on Friday afternoon, March 16th from 4 to 6 p.m.

Beginning on Friday, March 23 through the finals, Sunday, March 25, tickets to the matches are $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 14. During the tournament there is a Pro-Am for sponsors on Sunday, March 18th. The Adult Pro-Am drill is Friday, March 23 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Community Tennis Association & USTA League appreciation night is Friday, March 23 starting at 6 p.m. The VIP sponsor dinner reception is Saturday, March 24 starting at 6 p.m. A USTA Net Generation Kid’s Day and Carnival is Saturday, March 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

For the past 17 years Top Seed Tennis Academy and the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center have hosted USTA Pro tennis events. Adding to accomplishments of our distinguished alumni is Kevin Anderson, the 2017 U.S. Open runner-up and Sam Querrey, a 2017 Wimbledon semifinalist. Past Calabasas Champion, Tennys Sandgren reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 Australian Open.  All four Men’s Doubles finalists at the 2017 French Open have played the Calabasas Pro Tennis Championships. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, three out of the five players on the USA Men’s Olympic tennis team played in the Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas: Brian Baker, Steve Johnson, and Rajeev Ram, with Johnson winning the bronze medal in doubles and Rajeev Ram capturing the silver medal in mixed doubles. In addition, 20 2016 Olympic tennis players from around the world have participated in Calabasas Pro Tennis tournaments. Add previous Olympic Gold medalists, Mike & Bob Bryan and Chile’s Nicolas Massu to the growing list of Olympic medalists and you have one of the most decorated group of USTA Pro Circuit players ever assembled!  Other past players include Grand Slam Champion Michael Chang, two-time Grand Slam finalist Mark Philippoussis, current U.S. Davis Cup players, John Isner, Donald Young, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Ryan Harrison, and Frances Tiafoe.

The tournament has sponsorship opportunities available. For more information contact Jeff Richards at (818) 222-2782 or

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Bryan Bros Doubles Race celebrated at BNP Masters event Wed, 14 Mar 2018 22:22:29 +0000 Read more »]]> Last year, the most successful doubles team of all time joined with USTA Southern California to promote the very game that made them a tennis-household name. Bob and Mike Bryan – Olympic gold medalists, 16 time Grand Slam champions, and Davis Cup winners – are no stranger to the benefits of doubles tennis, and it’s no surprise that the twins and their Foundation teamed with the local USTA section to promote and develop doubles play among today’s junior players.

The result of this combined effort is the Bryan Bros. Doubles Race, a year-long competition that rewards the top local junior competitors for their cumulative performance in doubles play. This month at the BNP Paribas Masters Open in Indian Wells, each of the 2017 winners at Levels 1 thru 7 took center stage and were feted with a remarkable weekend of pro tennis, on court clinics, and a poolside dinner and gathering in Palm Springs.

“We’re really fired up about this new program,” said Wayne Bryan, the well-known father of the Bryans and mentor to tennis players throughout Southern California. “The idea is to get more kids playing the great game of doubles. I’m a big believer that the more doubles that kids play, it sharpens up their overall game.”

Ten teams were celebrated in Indian Wells for their finishes last year, ranging in age from 10 to 18. As a reward, the Bryan Bros. Foundation provided an all-inclusive weekend in Palm Springs for the players and a guardian, including hotel, tournament passes, and special events. Of course, each got to meet and take photos with the brothers themselves.

“What a lifetime opportunity,” said USTA SoCal Director of Youth Tennis Trevor Kronemann. “For the kids to be celebrated in this way, and to see what dedication and hard work can achieve, is really a testament to the twins’ Foundation and the impact they have on the game at all levels.”

The Bryan Bros. Doubles Race continues in 2018 and will track results throughout the year.

“A lot of kids like doubles,” says Wayne Bryan. “They like the team thing. I think we can attract more kids to our sport if we have that available.”

See the video montage on YouTube.

The 2017 Bryan Brothers Doubles Race Winners

Boys 18s: Jacob Bullard-Jack Pullman
Boys 16s: Ivan Smith-Christopher Papa
Boys 14s: Kevin-Thai-Eric Kats
Boys 12s: Avery Tallakson-Paul Dandler
Boys 10s: Keaton Hance-Rishvanth Krishna

Girls 18s: Emily Dush-Alexandra Kuo /and/ Rena Lin-Michelle Deng
Girls 16s: Giulia Hayer-Amanda Chan
Girls 14s: Iris Berman-Kaia Wolfe
Girls 12s: Stacey Samonte-Jeselle Ante
Girls 10s: Rachel Lee-Alyssa Ahn


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INDIAN WELLS: Fritz struggles with wind, falls in Round of 16 Wed, 14 Mar 2018 21:07:54 +0000 Read more »]]> Borna Coric brought his rally machine to Indian Wells on Wednesday, much to the chagrin of a pro-USA crowd eager to see homegrown Taylor Fritz take yet another step in his career maturation.

Playing in the Round of 16 and looking for a berth in the quarterfinals, Fritz (Palos Verdes) looked steady and confident in holding his opening serve. Yet increased hitting errors plagued Fritz throughout the set, as the American hopeful was unable to finish lengthy rallies with success. Coric, on the other hand, was more than willing to extend rallies and wait patiently for Fritz to falter, closing the set at 6-2 with a powerful serve that merely tickled Fritz’s racquet as it passed by.

“The only way I could win a point,” Fritz said afterwards of Coric’s dominance and the swirling winds in the first set, “was to hit a big shot. It was tough to time the ball.”

In the second set, Fritz rallied on serve in the seventh game. Finding a welcome groove (“I changed my strategy for the conditions,” he said in retrospect), Fritz laced two winners in the game, taking a 4-3 lead. The momentum shifted as the Indian Wells crowd stirred, watching Fritz move Coric side to side and forcing a service break. But even with the ball on his racquet, Fritz could not lock up the set, Coric responded with a break of his own and a service hold.

In a second set tiebreak, Fritz managed to win more of the long rallies that he’d lose, securing the tiebreak and sending the match to a deciding third set. But Coric maintained his game plan, outlasting Fritz in long rallies and logging a crucial service break to finish the match, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4.

“It’s probably the biggest match I’ve played in my career,” Fritz said afterwards. “To make the quarterfinals of a Masters, it’s really tough to lose that match.”

Still in the mix is Santa Monica’s Sam Querrey, who dispatched Yuki Bhambri in three sets, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. Querrey moves on to the Round of 16 to face Feliciano Lopez, the Spaniard who ousted Jack Sock, the top ranked American on the ATP Tour.


Top seed Simona Halep has been challenged in a couple of her matches thus far, yet the top seed continues to exhibit outstanding play as she storms through the Women’s Draw. By comparison, Roger Federer looks like his young/old self as he cruises towards Sunday’s final, though a pending showdown with Juan Martin del Potro could provide ample challenge.

On Wednesday, Wayne Bryan’s Tennis Talk – a daily Q&A session outside Stadium 1 – was of particular interest to those who appreciate tennis history. Bryan welcomed tennis legend Rod Laver, a 2017 inductee to the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame. Wayne’s kids – better known as Mike and Bob, the Bryan Brothers, return to doubles action this evening at Indian Wells.

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World Team Tennis drafts 2018 Rosters Tue, 13 Mar 2018 20:03:49 +0000 Read more »]]> When World Team Tennis returns to Southern California this summer, the rosters will look somewhat different than in 2017, when both SoCal squads reached the championship final. At the team draft today at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, each city unveiled their franchise players and selected players to fill out their forthcoming roster.

Defending champions Orange County Breakers added Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner as their first pick for the new year. Demoliner, currently the 47th ranked doubles player on the ATP Tour, is a doubles specialist. Earlier this month, Demoliner teamed Santa Monica’s Sam Querrey to reach the quarterfinals in Acapulco.

The Breakers also selected Stephane Robert, the 37-year old from France.

The San Diego Aviators, finalists last year, selected talented doubles player Marcus Willis in the first round. The Brit reached Wimbledon’s second round last year teaming with Jay Clarke to upset the defending champions Mahut/Herbert in the second round.

San Diego also drafted former UCLA Bruin Marcin Matkowski of Poland, a former US Open doubles finalist, and former mixed doubles Grand Slam champion Anna-Lena Groenfeld.

The most notable selections of the draft belonged to Washington, last year’s cellar dweller, who selected Tennys Sandgren as the first overall pick along with Pepperdine alum Robert Lindstedt, joining their franchise players Madison Brengle and Bob & Mike Bryan. Philadelphia added young Amanda Anisimova, who has impressed this week at Indian Wells, as well as US Open finalist Kevin Anderson.

Vania King (Monterey Park) was selected by the Springfield Lasers, and New York Empire added former UCLA standout Dennis Novikov.

The World Team Tennis season begins in mid-July.

2018 World Team Tennis Draft

Washington Kastles
Venus Williams (protected)
Mike and Bob Bryan(protected)
Madison Brengle (protected)
Tennys Sandgren (1st overall pick)
Robert Lindstedt
Nicole Melichar

Philadelphia Freedoms
Sloane Stephens (protected)
Taylor Townsend (protected)
Fabrice Martin (protected)
Amanda Anisimova
Kevin King
Kevin Anderson

Springfield Lasers
Jack Sock (protected)
Abigail Spears (protected)
Vania King
Miomir Kecmanovic
Daniel Nestor

New York Empire
Mardy Fish (protected)
John Isner (protected)
Genie Bouchard (protected)
Neal Skupski (protected)
Tatjana Maria
Dennis Novikov
Maria José Martínez Sánchez

San Diego Aviators
Naomi Broady (protected)
Marcus Willis
Marcin Matkowski
Anna-Lena Groenefeld

Orange County Breakers
Yanina Wickmayer (protected)
Andreja Klepac (protected)
Marcelo Demoliner
Stéphane Robert

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INDIAN WELLS: Fritz Emerges, Moves On in Men’s Draw Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:22:37 +0000 Read more »]]>

Monterey Park’s Vania King

For most of the day on Monday, the buzz around Indian Wells Tennis Garden was focused primarily on the pending showdown between #8 seed Venus Williams and perennial Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, another family affair sure to garner all of the attention across the grounds. But it was a late afternoon third round affair between a young American and a talented Spaniard that would bring the BNP Paribas Open crowd to its feet.

Taylor Fritz, the 20-year old out of Palos Verdes, is currently ranked #74 on the ATP Tour and unseeded entering the BNP Masters. He’d turned pro at a ripe young teen age, and was married before be broke the 20s. Now, with a young baby at home and an unremarkable end to 2017 in his rear view mirror, Fritz is back on home soil and looked to upset the #39 ranked Fernando Verdasco on Monday.

Verdasco, the 34 year old from Madrid, struck first by tallying the opening set, 6-4. But Fritz kicked into gear as they continued the two hour affair, taking full control in a 6-2 rout of his experienced opponent. In the deciding set, and with a commanding 5-4 lead and three break points in hand, Fritz was unable to convert and lost the game. This set up an eventual tiebreaker, and the Indian Wells hopefuls likely feared that an opportunity had been sorely missed. But the young Fritz came out swinging and never stopped, marching to a 7-1 tiebreak win and a subsequent berth in the Round of 16. He will face Borna Coric (CRO) next; the two have met only once, on clay at Roland Garros two seasons ago, a routine win for the Croatian.

On court Tuesday night, Sam Querrey faces qualifier Yuki Bhambri of India. Querrey (Santa Monica), seeded at #18, also remains in the hunt for a doubles crown with Gilles Muller, splitting two sets with #4 seed Murray/Soares before rolling in a 10-2 deciding set.

Flying under the radar at Indian Wells, Monterey Park’s Vania King has teamsed with Katarina Srebotnik to reach the quarterfinals in Women’s doubles. King – who reached the doubles final of the WTA Women’s Challenger last week with Jennifer Brady – and Srebotnik eliminated the #6 seed Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE) in the previous round and will face Hsieh/Strycova on Tuesday. The 29-year old King won both Wimbledon and US Open Women’s doubles in 2010.


The Bryan Brothers meet Spain’s Carreo Busta/Marrero on Tuesday night after escaping a three set challenge on Sunday. Other American hopefuls remaining at Indian Wells include Danielle Collins, who has defeated US Open finalist Madison Keys and qualifier Taylor Townsend to reach the Round of 16. She will face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, who knocked off the #4 seed Elina Svitolina (UKR) in straight sets.

Sloane Stephens, reigning US Open champion, fell in straight sets while Caroline Dolehide pushed top seeded World #1 Simona Halep to three grueling sets, eventually tailing off as Halep persevered 1-6, 7-6, 6-2. Venus Williams emerged from the sister rivalry to move on in the Women’s draw, a straight set win over Serena Williams.

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WEEKEND WRAP: While BNP steals spotlight, SoCal wins abroad Mon, 12 Mar 2018 21:39:22 +0000 Read more »]]>

David Wagner heads to Georgia this week.

All eyes may be fixated on the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells this week, but that doesn’t mean some of the brightest young SoCal stars are taking a break from competition. In fact, some are returning to the region for some home cooking as Bakersfield and Calabasas Futures events are on the March schedule.

Last week, Daniel Nguyen (Oxnard) rekindled what could be an annual tradition on tour in Asia. Nguyen, who won three consecutive events across the Pacific last summer, notched his first title of this year at an ITF Futures event in Nishi-Tama, Japan. The #3 seeded Nguyen faced #5 Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul (THA) in the final, a 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 marathon that stretched over two and a half hours.  Nguyen remains in Japan this week for another event, this time in Nishi-Tokyo.

In Canada, JC Aragone (Yorba Linda) reached the semifinals of the Pro Circuit in Sherbrooke, a tournament won by qualifier Michael Redlicki (USA) of Duke University. Aragone remains in Canada for a Challenger event this week at Drummondville.

Steve Johnson (Redondo Beach) and Jared Donaldson (Irvine) saw early departures from Indian Wells, where Sam Querrey (Santa Monica) and Taylor Fritz (Palos Verdes) remain in the singles hunt. Johnson and Donaldson head to Irving, Texas for an ATP Challenger.

The Bakersfield Tennis Open begins this week following a weekend qualifier. Alex Sarkissian (Glendale) is seeded second in the event. (

Monterey Park’s Vania King remains in doubles contention at Indian Wells, the only Southern Californian woman still alive in either singles or doubles.

In Rome, Georgia, David Wagner (Fullerton), Lauren Haneke-Hopps (San Diego), and Dana Mathewson (San Diego) highlight the field of wheelchair athletes at this week’s ITF Georgia Open.


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INDIAN WELLS: Querrey, Fritz keep SoCal hopes alive Mon, 12 Mar 2018 14:43:02 +0000 Read more »]]> As week two of the BNP Paribas Open kicks off today, a much anticipated third round match is looming while select SoCal players remain in the hunt at Indian Wells.

The women’s draw has seen the departure of Rancho Santa Fe’s Coco Vandeweghe, who fell in her third round match with Maria Sakkari, falling in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Vandeweghe converted only one break point against Sakkari’s serve, while the 22-year old from Greece earned four breaks in five chances.

But the anticipation in Indian Wells revolves around a third round match between Serena and Venus Williams, a rare meeting of the sisters in early rounds. Returning from pregnancy, Serena has won her first two matches at Indian Wells, both in straight sets, while Venus took a first round bye and notched a routine win in the second round. The sisters face off this evening after 7pm.

On the men’s side, Sam Querrey (Santa Monica) returned to the BNP with a second round win over Mischa Zverev, 6-4, 7-5. Querrey is seeded #18 this week, and continues to compete in doubles with Gilles Muller. The tandem meets #4 seed Murray/Soares in the Round of 16.

The Bryan Brothers are also in the hunt as the #7 seed, having triumphed in a battle of siblings over the Zverev brothers, 6-3, 4-6, 10-1. Mike & Bob meet the Spanish tandem Busta/Marrero in the next round.

Also still alive in the men’s draw, Taylor Fritz (Palos Verdes) emerged from a first round battle with Reilly Opelka – the best man at his wedding! – to topple #27 seed Andrey Rublev in the second round, 6-4, 7-6(4). Fritz, who played well at last year’s BNP, looks comfortable again as he heads to the third round today to meet Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.

Ernesto Escobedo (West Covina) was unable to keep the momentum of his opening win over Frances Tiafoe, falling in straight sets to #28 Feliciano Lopez.

More from Indian Wells later this week!

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INDIAN WELLS: “Neto” nets a big win; Coco Advances to Round Two Sat, 10 Mar 2018 04:46:42 +0000 Read more »]]>  

Coco Vandeweghe in action at the BNP Paribas Open.

As things heat up in the desert, Southern Californians are taking center stage, including an impressive upset on the men’s side and a strong performance in the women’s draw. The BNP is in full swing, and here’s the latest from Indian Wells!

On center court today, West Covina’s Ernesto Escobedo faced the highly touted fellow American Frances Tiafoe, who is fresh of an impressive championship performance in Delray Beach. Under the midday sun, Escobedo proved equal to the task, overcoming a sluggish Tiafoe, the World #64, with mighty power from the baseline. “Neto” looked confident throughout, overcoming his opponent by amassing 66% of second serve points, and 55% of second return points. It was the first time the two players had faced each other, with Tiafoe remaining in the game despite difficulty maintaining rallies, and the World #123 Escobedo earned a 7-5, 6-3 win on Stadium Court 1.

Across the plaza on Court 2, Rancho Palos Verdes’ CoCo Vandeweghe looked ready to cruise to victory after locking up a 6-0 first set opposite Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. Kanepi, hampered early by a wrapped knee and calf, loosened up in the second set and fell into a groove, making the 17-seed Vandeweghe earn a tough 6-0, 7-6(6) victory to advance to the second round.

Vandeweghe’s meets unseeded Maria Sakkari next, while Escobedo has an appointment with the 28-seed Feliciano Lopez.
Also remaining in the Men’s draw, Taylor Fritz (Rancho Santa Fe) meets 27-seed Andrey Rublev in Round Two, Jared Donaldson (Irvine) meets Roberto Bautista Agut and Santa Monica’s Sam Querrey meets the winner of Kukushkin/Zverev.

On the women’s side, US Open titlist Sloane Stephens will battle Victoria Azarenka in the second round.


The Bryan Brothers awarded SoCal doubles tandems with medals for their performance in the Doubles Run, created with the Bryan Bros. Foundation and the SCTA. Ten teams who placed at the top of Level 1-7 competition were rewarded with a fun-filled weekend of clinic, a fun mixed doubles event, pro tennis, and events with complimentary lodging… The brothers return the court on Saturday evening to begin their quest for the 2018 BNP crown… On Friday, Indian Wells Tennis Garden unveiled a new Roger Federer mural to join those around the Indian Wells grounds. Federer is seeded first and holds the current World #1 ranking.

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INDIAN WELLS: In defeat, Nakashima wins Indian Wells fans Wed, 07 Mar 2018 01:30:56 +0000 Read more »]]> Near the end, someone at courtside said rather apologetically, “He’s young.”

Brandon Nakashima (USTA SoCal/D.Nash)

But this was not simply a flippant observation of 16-year old Brandon Nakashima, the San Diegan and top rated national collegiate recruit. It was as much a compliment to a young man who showed some fight in what could have been a lopsided affair on the main stage at Stadium 2 at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Tuesday.

Faced with a daunting task – the 27-year old Canadian Vasek Posposil, a former Wimbledon doubles champion – Nakashima was an automatic crowd favorite. In front of a sizeable audience, the first round Qualifying match turned heavily in favor of Posposil, who raced out to a comfortable lead in the first set. With a combination of punches ranging from electric service aces to powerful forehand winners, Posposil secured the opening set at 6-0, leaving the young Nakashima to return to the sideline in search of a feasible answer.

After losing the seventh straight game, Nakashima broke through with the first of his own, and the Indian Wells crowd roared with approval. Combining serve and volley with accelerated groundstrokes equivalent to his experienced opponent, Nakashima held his own all the way to a 5-4 lead in the second set, as the crowd voiced its support with cheers of “Let’s go Brandon” heard throughout.

Posposil regrouped, however, retooling his game for a quick tiebreaker highlighted by excellent serves, closing out a first round victory, 6-0, 7-6(3).
Still, in the jazzed arena, the story was Nakashima. His tennis career still unfolding, the youngster is sure to return to this stage again and again, with years of experience in his favor.

Also in Men’s action, former UCLA Bruin Mackenzie McDonald notched a straight set win over Glendale’s Alex Sarkissian, and Marcos Giron (Thousand Oaks) is due on court later this evening.


The women’s Qualifier continued on Tuesday, beginning with Ashley Kratzer coming off a rousing victory over the top seed. Her second round opponent, fellow American Sachia Vickery, began with Kratzer (Newport Beach) continuing the dominant play that worked to her benefit a day before. But once Vickery turned the tide, Kratzer suffered again from untimely errors. Unable to regain momentum, Kratzer fell in straight sets.

The men’s Main Draw was announced this afternoon, including a first round match between Taylor Fritz (Rancho Santa Fe) and 20-year old wild card Reilly Opelka. SoCal’s Jared Donaldson (Irvine) will meet a to-be named qualifier, while Steve Johnson (Redondo Beach) faces off with Daniil Medvedev of Russia. The celebrated American Frances Tiafoe meets wild card Ernesto Escobedo (West Covina) and Poway’s Bradley Klahn meets Thomas Fabbiano of Italy in the opening round. The #18 seed Sam Querrey also enjoys a first round bye.

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INDIAN WELLS: Escobedo continues a dream journey Tue, 06 Mar 2018 19:36:39 +0000 Read more »]]> Last winter, Ernesto Escobedo began a promising upward trend. At the 2017 Australian Open, the West Covina native made a rather improbable run on the Grand Slam stage after emerging from the tournament qualifier. In the opening round, Escobedo surprised the #63 ranked Daniil Medvedev in four sets, then took the first set from #23 David Ferrer in a tight four set loss.

When the spring bloom took him to Houston, Escobedo had broken the Top 100 when he met the imposing John Isner at an ATP Challenger, eliminating the high-ranked Isner in a match that reached a tiebreaker in all three sets. And by year’s end, having fallen to World #114, he’d upend budding poster boy and World #50 Denis Shapovalov in straight sets at Antwerp.

Fast forward to last month in Mexico, a couple weeks after taking US Open finalist Kevin Anderson to a decisive third set tiebreak in New York. Now opposite fellow American Jack Sock, the World #10 ranked player on the ATP Tour, here was Escobedo again facing a formidable challenge. Again, he’d turn away his competition with a 7-5, 7-6 win over Sock, a sign that Escobedo was on track for another season of growth and maturity.

“I’m coming in with a lot of confidence,” he said on Monday after an afternoon practice session at Indian Wells. “I’ve had a pretty good few weeks (leading up to the BNP Paribas Open).”

Of Mexican descent, Escobedo’s West Covina roots mean that Indian Wells is considered home turf, an opportunity for family and friends to travel about 90 minutes to see the rising star in action.

“This site is unbelievable,” Escobedo remarks, complimenting the pristine practice courts and the energy of a local crowd. It’s familiar territory for the 21 year old, who has been attending the event since he was 8 years old.

As he awaits the start of the Men’s Main Draw on Thursday, Escobedo (currently ranked #117) continues to live out a real-life fantasy.

“Playing here,” he says, “is a dream come true.”

The Men’s Draw will be announced later on Tuesday afternoon as the Qualifying Rounds continue.

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INDIAN WELLS: Kratzer Kicks Into High Gear Tue, 06 Mar 2018 02:46:08 +0000 Read more »]]> As a wild card entry into the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week, Ashley Kratzer had the misfortune of drawing the #1 seed in the women’s qualifying event to open the two week competition. Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova reached her career high WTA ranking last month (#62) and earned her first tour championship last fall. By all accounts, this could be a short trip to the desert for the 19-year old from Newport Beach.

Nicole Gibbs tries to rebound in the second set at Indian Wells.

At 0-4 in the first set, Kratzer looked immediately shaky, losing the first eight points of the match and calling for her coach on the first side change. Kozlova, meanwhile, must have been ready to hit cruise control toward the tournament’s second round. And it was smooth sailing the rest of the way… just not for the Ukranian upstart.

Krazter, the former USTA National girls’ champion, reeled off 12 of 13 remaining sets to notch a surprisingly dominant 6-4, 6-1 victory to kick off her Indian Wells campaign. A hot service game and increasingly pinpoint groundstrokes turned the tide, leaving Kozlova as bewildered in the end as Kratzer had looked at the start.

Kratzer faces fellow American Sachia Vickery at 11am Tuesday.

Other winners in the early qualifying rounds were Madison Brengle, Bernarda Pera, and Japan’s Kurumi Nara, a finalist in last week’s ITF at Morgan Run.

Santa Monica’s Nicole Gibbs stormed out to a 6-1 first set win on Stadium 2, only to falter in successive frames dominated by Andrea Petkovic of Germany, who advanced 1-6, 6-2, 6-0.


The Women’s Main Draw was announced in a ceremony outside center court, featuring US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Hall of Famer Lindsay Davenport. The most anticipated draws included Venus and Serena Williams, who are on target to meet in the 3rd Round, should fate allow.

The Mens’ Qualifier opens on Tuesday, with the Main Draw announced later in the day.

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