In day one of the qualifying round for the Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger all 12 matches were completed after an overnight rain saturated Binghamton’s Recreation Park courts. Unadilla residents Alex and Ian Van Cott each competed in the first round of qualifiers, but were unable to move on as both were defeated in straight sets.
Ian Van Cott (USA) battled Winston Lin (USA) in one of the day’s first matches, but fell in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. After falling behind 5-1 in the first set, Van Cott rattled off three straight sets to trim the deficit to 5-4. The Tulane sophomore was on the verge of breaking Lin’s serve and evening the frame, up 15-40, but the Columbia University junior rallied to take the game and the set, 6-4. In the second set each player held serve until Lin broke Van Cott’s serve to take a 3-2 lead. From there Lin cruised to a 6-3 win to take the match and move on in the qualifier.
Like his brother earlier in the day, Alex Van Cott (USA) quickly fell behind 5-1 in his match against Jeremy Efferding (USA). However, just like his brother Van Cott also fought back winning, back-to-back sets to cut Efferding’s lead to 5-3. The Tulane sophomore battled off four set points, but eventually fell in the first set, 6-3. In the second set, Efferding, who plays collegiately for Texas A&M, broke Van Cott’s serve three times and eased to a 6-1 victory to move on in the qualifying draw.
In the day’s most thrilling match, Mitchell Krueger (USA) hung on to defeat Peter Kobelt (USA) in three sets (7-6, 4-6, 7-6). Krueger, who is 19 and went pro straight out of high school, was behind 6-5 in the final set before winning the final two games to advance in the qualifying draw. In the final stanza Krueger dominated taking the extra game, 7-2. Krueger is currently ranked No. 499 in the world according to ATP and holds a career record of 17-11 on the ITF Futures Tour. The six-foot-seven Kobelt plays collegiately at Ohio State and was a 2012 All-Big Ten first-team selection.
Two other matches went the distance as American Nikita Kryvonos defeated Marcos Giron (USA) (6-7, 6-3, 6-3) before Jeff Dadamo (USA) knocked off Mitchell Frank (USA) (6-3, 3-6, 6-3). Kryvonos, 26, is currently ranked No. 633 in the world and will face the third-seeded qualifier Jason Jung tomorrow. Dadamo, 23, played his college tennis for Texas A&M and holds a world ranking of 553.
Among the other highlights of the day, former Wimbledon doubles champion Frederik Nielsen, 29, (DEN) disposed of Janis Podzus (LAT) in straight sets (6-3, 6-1) while wild card entry Rifat Biktyakov (UZB) upset Kirill Kasyanov (USA) 6-1, 6-3. Biktyakov recently graduated from Oklahoma State where he was the No. 1 singles player for the Cowboys. Also impressive was Michael Redlicki (USA), who just finished his freshmen year at Duke, as he cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Krasimir Kolev (USA). Redlicki is a doubles partner of USTA wild card entry Dennis Novikov, as the duo advanced to the second round of the 2012 US Open.