19-year old William Blumberg knocked off the number six seed Denis Kudla during Wednesday’s matches at the LGT Challenger. In other upset news, Ze Zhang from China had a victory over fourth-seeded Akira Santillan. First round doubles action also began as Binghamton University men’s tennis assistant coach James Hignett and partner Billy Mendler fell in their opening match.
Blumberg, a wild card selection, ousted Denis Kudla (USA) in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals where he will face Ze Zhang (CHN). The 19-year old from Greenwich, Connecticut played one year at the University of North Carolina before deciding to go pro this year after being chosen as the ITA Rookie of the Year posting a 31-3 record.
Hignett and Mendler faced Americans Connor Farren and Raymond Sarmiento in the opening round of doubles action after both teams earned a wild card entry into the main draw. After dropping the opening set, 6-2, Hignett and Mendler, the teaching pro at the Binghamton Tennis Center, were down five games to none before they won back-to-back games. The local duo had the support of the crowd, but it wasn’t enough as Farren and Sarmiento won match point to capture the second set, 6-2.
Finishing their match from last night, Jordan Thompson and Evan King took center court early this morning. Tied 3-3 in the second set yesterday when they were called due to darkness, Thompson got his momentum back as he only allowed King to score one game point to his three. The number one seed Thompson defeated King in straight sets, 7-6 (1), 6-4.
Eight-seeded Blaz Rola will also advance to quarterfinal play as he took a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Alex Bolt. American Daniel Nguyen was knocked out early this morning falling 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets to Cameron Norrie.
The top three-seeded doubles made it through to the next round of the five doubles matches played today. Number one seed Alex Bolt and Adam Whittington defeated Adam El Mihdawy and Joao Pedro Sorgi in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 to move on. Second-seeded duo Mao-Xin Gong and Ze Zhang from China won in straight sets as well over Edward Corrie and Blaz Rola. Corrie and Rola tried holding off Gong and Zhang in the first set, but fell 6-4. Gong and Zhang came back in the second set with a 6-0 shut out to advance in bracket play.
Third seed Ruan Roelofse and Christopher Rungkat went up against American Marcos Giron and Jose Statham, winning the first set 6-4 but dropping the second 7-5. Entering a ten-point tiebreak, Roelofse and Rungkat won 10-4 to move on. American Kevin King and partner Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela will also be advancing in doubles play as opponents Edan Leshem and Akira Santillana withdrew from competition.
Fast Serve Contest
Today’s events also featured a fast serve contest, where eight participants competed to see who could hit the fastest serve. After five rounds and two chances at a tiebreak, former No. 69 player in the world and 2010 LG&T finalist Robert Hendrick and Joao Pedro Sorgi of Brazil were declared the winners.
Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. we will have a celebrity match on center court that will feature Candace Chapman, evening co-anchor and managing editor at 12 news against Jeremy Donovan, sports director at WICZ-TV Fox 40.
Tomorrow’s feature match will be against fifth-seeded Michael Mmoh and Christian Harrison. The Americans will face off on Center Court no later than 5:30 p.m.