Three players with Southern California ties joined Floridian and promising American teenager Stefan Kolov in the second round of the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas, which began main draw play on Tuesday at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.
Former Bay Area resident and UCLA player Dennis Novikov, 21, needed three sets in the first round – scores were 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 – to put away fellow American Tommy Paul, a 17-year-old East Coaster given a USTA wild card into the USTA Pro Circuit $15,000 Futures tournament.
Just three weeks ago, the Calabasas No. 2-seeded Novikov was the only American male to qualify for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. That performance vaulted his ATP World Tour ranking from No. 256 to a career-high No. 219 in the world. Shortly after hearing about the rankings jump, Novikov Tweeted out: “#219 in the world …French open Qualies here I come.”
Novikov, who had never faced Paul, later in the day teamed with Giovanni Lapentti of Ecuador to beat his former Bruin teammates Maxime Tabatruong and Clay Thompson in the first round of doubles, 6-2, 7-5.
“My goal is to finish the year by playing at least qualifying tournaments in the remaining three Grand Slams,” Novikov said. “By the end of the year, I want to be in the top 100.”
Thompson, who won the Calabasas Wild Card Tournament, took advantage of his pass into the main draw and upset No. 3-seeded Gianni Mina of France, 6-2, 7-6 (10-8).
Similarly, another Southern California wild card, 17-year-old Taylor Fritz from Rancho Santa Fe, took out lucky loser Lucas Renard of Sweden, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
In the only other main-draw singles match, Kozlov downed local wild card Keanu Ellen of Calabasas, 6-0, 6-0.
EVENTS: A USPTA Coaches workshop with one or two of the Pro Circuit players and their coach will take place on Thursday, March 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Adult Pro-Am drill is Friday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Community Tennis Association & USTA League appreciation night is Friday, March 27, starting at 6 p.m. A VIP sponsor dinner reception is also on Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A USTA Junior Team Tennis Kid’s Day with a Tennis Carnival is Saturday, March 28, from 1:30 p.m. till 3 p.m.
For Wednesday’s order of play here, click Wednesday Schedule.
For the updated singles draw, click Calabasas mds.
For the updated doubles draw, click Calabasas mdd.
Tuesday’s First-Round Singles Scores
Clay Thompson, U.S., (wc), def. Gianni Mina, France (3), 6-2, 7-6 (10-8)
Dennis Novikov, U.S., (2) def. Tommy Paul, U.S., (wc) 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4
Taylor Fritz, U.S., (wc) def. Lucas Renard (ll), Sweden, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
Stefan Kozlov, U.S., def. Keanu Ellen, U.S., (wc) 6-0, 6-0
Tuesday’s First-Round Doubles Scores
Deiton Baughman, U.S. / Walker Duncan, U.S. def. Calle Hansen, U.S. / Quinn Borchard, U.S., 6-3, 6-4
Fabiano De Paula, Brazil / Pedro Sakamoto, Brazil (1) def. Alexander Klintcharov, New Zealand / Alan Nunez Aguilera, Mexico, 7-5, 6-2
Adrian Forberg Skogeng, Norway / Wil Spencer, U.S., def. Kaptan Kaster, U.S. / Isaiah Strode, U.S., (wc) 6-0. 6-4
Pedro Bernardi, Brazil / Luis Fernando Ramirez, Venezuela, def. Francis Alcantara, Philippines / Mico Santiago, U.S., 7-5, 2-6, 10-8
Damon Gooch, South Africa / Lucas Renard, Sweden, def. Hans Hach, Mexico, Julio Peralta, Chile (2), 6-1, 6-7 (6), 10-4
Fabian Matthew, U.S. / Jeremy Hunter Nicholas, U.S. def. Mbonisi Ndimande, Zimbabwe / Daniel Nguyen, U.S., 6-2, 6-3
Giovanni Lapentti, Ecuador / Dennis Novikov, U.S. (3) def. Maxime Tabatruong, France, Clay Thompson, U.S., 6-2, 7-5
Follow along on Twitter at http://twitter.com/calabasastennis. For more information check out the official website, calabasasprotennis.com.
Past Calabasas finalists:
Year Singles Winner Singles Runner-up
2014: Marcos Giron (US) def. Jason Jung (US)
2013: Sanam Singh (IND) def. Bradley Klahn (US)
2012: Tennys Sandgren (USA) def. Daniel Kosakowski (US)
2010: Marinko Matosevic (AUS) def. Ryan Sweeting (US)
2009: Donald Young (US) def. Michael Russell (US)
2008: Vince Spadea (US) def. Sam Warburg (US)
2007: Robert Kendrick (US) def. Donald Young (US)
2006: Mark Philippoussis (AUS) def. Amer Delic (US)
2005: Brian Vahaly (US) def. Denis Gremelmayr (GER)
2004: Ivo Karlovic (CRO) def. Alex Bogomolov Jr. (US)
2003: Jerome Golmard (FRA) def. Lars Burgsmuller (GER)
2002: Michael Chang (US) def. Cecil Mamiit (PHI)
2001: Andre Sa (BRA) def. Michael Russell (US)