Americans Giron, Bangoura Punch Tickets To Main Draw

Americans Marcos Giron and Sekou Bangoura both won on the second day of the LG&T Challenger Sunday, qualifying for this week’s main draw tournament. Wild card Austin Smith upset seventh-seeded Ryan Haviland, while three seeded players advanced to qualifying finals on Monday.

Giron had a difficult contest to advance to this week’s action. After taking the first set, 6-3, Giron fell behind Dmitriy Kamynin in the second frame. Giron, a California native, fought back and forced a tiebreak at 6-all. A Kamynin double fault on match point allowed Giron to go through. The top seed among qualifiers recorded 11 aces in the nearly two-hour match. He will be randomly placed in one of the four qualifier slots in the main draw bracket.

In the first three-set match of the qualifying tournament, Bangoura, the five seed, outlasted Jomby, 6-4, 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4). Bangoura took the opener on the strength of winning 18-21 first serve points. Second-seeded Jomby bounced back in the second set, winning a 7-5 tiebreaker to force a decisive frame. The pair competed to a 6-all score in the third, setting up another tiebreaker. Bangoura grabbed a 4-3 edge, and following a long rally, smashed a forehand deep in the left corner for a two-point advantage. A Jomby error pushed the match to the brink, but Jomby responded by charging the net and picking up a point to make it 6-4. On another match point, a strong Bangoura shot led to a Jomby forehand that went long, giving the Floridian the win.

Ernesto Escobedo won a hard-fought match with Colin Sinclair in a first-round qualifier. In the opening set, the players went back and forth as they played to a 6-6 tie. I n the tiebreaker, Escobedo hit a forehand winner after a long rally to take a 5-3 advantage. He went on to win the tiebreaker by a score of 7-5. Escobedo then broke Sinclair’s serve midway through the second set, allowing him to take a 6-4 decision and win the contest.

Austin Smith took down seventh-seeded Ryan Haviland in their first-round qualifying match. Smith won the opener, 6-3, and then battled to pull out a 7-6 victory in the decisive set. Smith, a wild card entrant, rallied to even the tiebreak at 7. He followed with an ace and then watched as a Haviland shot went long, ending the match. Smith will face Escobedo in a qualifying final on Monday morning.

Luke Bambridge used a powerful service game to get past Bernardo Casares, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7). Bambridge posted 14 aces and rallied from a second-set deficit to get into a tiebreak, which he won, 9-7. Nicolas Meister rolled to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Patrick Daciek Sunday. Meister tallied six aces and won 4-5 break points to control the match. Meister and Bambridge will meet in a qualifying final on Monday.

The last two singles qualifying finals will begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow . Main draw competition will follow.