Love For the Game Returns For Baughman

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 14, 2017) – Feeling “motivated” and “rejuventated” after stepping away from life on the pro tennis circuit, 2015 Claremont Club Pro Classic champion Deiton Baughman posted two more wins on Thursday in singles and doubles in the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures tournament being played at the Claremont Club.

Friday Order of Play

The unseeded Baughman outlasted 22-year-old No. 4-seeded Daniel Cukierman of Israel, 7-6 (13), 6-4, to win a second-round match. Baughman will next face former University of North Carolina All-American Ronnie Schneider in the quarterfinals on Friday.

“Yesterday I didn’t play that sharp, but today was better,” said Baughman, who grew up in Carson, Calif. “It was good quality tennis.”

Baughman described the first set as neither player wanting to win it. “I had six or seven set points and he had nine or 10,” he said. “I would have a set point and play a terrible point, then he would have a set point and I’d play the best point of the match.”

After a solid year of tennis in 2015, Baughman suffered a horrendous 2016, starting the year with mono that took him out for close to five months. He then tore ligaments in his wrist in Japan playing a $25,000 event.

Baughman said the mono really works on you mentally more than anything. “You’re always a little behind and you feel like you can’t catch up,” he said. “Your mind starts going to a darker place.”

Baughman said he lost the joy being on the court and, coupled with some personal issues he had to work through, Baughman said he lacked the drive to continue playing competitive tennis.

“I just didn’t have the motivation and passion to compete after I came back and you have to have both of those things out here on tour, or you’re not going to do well,” he said.

That’s when USC men’s coach Peter Smith threw Baughman a life line and allowed him to become a volunteer assistant coach for the Trojans. “It was the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Baughman said. “It’s like family there and they helped me out a lot mentally and with some of the personal battles I was having.”

On Thursday, Baughman later teamed with Karue Sell of Brazil to upset the top-seeded doubles team of Hunter Callahan and Robert Galloway, 6-2, 6-4, and advance to the doubles final on Friday. Baughman and Sell will face the No. 2-seeded team of Benjamin Lock and Evan Song.

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Thursday’s Second-Round Singles Results

Laurens Verboven, Belgium (q) def. Igor Ribeiro Marcondes, Brazil, 6-1, 6-4

Martin Redlicki, U.S., def. Isaiah Strode, U.S. (wc), 6-3, 7-5

Deiton Baughman, U.S., def. Daniel Cukierman, Israel, (4), 7-6 (13), 6-4

Karue Sell, Brazil (q) def. Alexander Cozbinov, Moldova, (q), walkover

Eduardo Dischinger, Brazil, def. Michael Geerts, Belgium, 6-3, 6-2

Jenson Brooksy, U.S. (wc) def. Benjamin Lock, Zimbabwe (2), 6-4, 6-3

Henry Craig, U.S., def. John Lamble, U.S., 6-1, 7-5

Ronnie Schneider, U.S., def. Gustav Hansson, Sweden, (7), 7-6 (4), 6-4

 Thursday’s Semifinal Doubles Results

Deiton Baughman, U.S./Karue Sell, Brazil, def. Hunter Callahan, U.S./Robert Galloway, U.S. (1), 6-2, 6-4

Benjamin Lock, Zimbabwe/Evan Song, U.S. (2), def. Collin Altamirano, U.S./Jenson Brooksby, U.S., 6-4, 6-4

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