GODFREY – Main draw singles and doubles play begins 8 a.m. Tuesday in the 15th Annual Lewis and Clark Community College United States Tennis Association (USTA) Men’s Pro Circuit Futures Tournament at the Andy Simpson Tennis Complex.
Qualifiers who won Monday to gain entry into the main draw include: No. 2 Alexios Halebian USA), No. 8 Martins Podzus (LAT), No. 10 Ryan Rowe, Anderson Reed, (USA), Nick Chappell (USA), Tim Kopinski (USA), Ryan Thatcher (USA), and Daniel Nguyen (USA).
Alvis Podzus, of Bauska, Latvia, smiled with pride when his son Martins won his final qualifying round Monday.
“It was a good match and he did well so now it is on to the main,” said Podzus, who coaches his twin 18-year-old sons Martins and Janis. The brothers will play their first doubles match Tuesday not before 11:30 a.m.
Illini assistant coach Marcos Asse traveled between two courts Monday watching senior Stephen Hoh, of Australia, and sophomore Tim Kopinski, of Palos Hills, Ill. fight for a spot in the main draw.
|Martins Podzus, 18, of Bauska; Latvia, reaches to return to opponent American Michael Grant on Monday; July 23, 2012, during the final qualifying round of the15th Annual Lewis and Clark Community College Men's USTA Pro Circuit Futures Tennis Tournament. Podzus defeated Grant 7-6(3), 6-3 and goes on to the first round of the main draw. He will play in the
first round of the doubles with his twin brother, Janis, not before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Photo by S. Paige Allen, Lewis and Clark Community College photographer.
Hoh lost a hard-fought match against No. 2 Alexios Halebian 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1. Kopinski earned a spot defeating Clifford Marsland 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
“It feels good to make it through,” said Kopinski. “I’m excited to continue in the tournament and just focused on taking it one game at a time.”
Meanwhile Illinois alum Ryan Rowe (USA) earned a spot after defeating David Holiner (USA) 6-3, 6-0.
Other Illini who will make an appearance in the tournament include Dennis Nevolo and Farris Gosea—who will play each other Tuesday not before 8:30 a.m.
Nevolo, 22, of Gurnee, Ill., just finished his All-American career with the Illini and is playing in his fourth tournament of his professional career. He was No. 8 in the final national college rankings and is a member of this year’s USTA Collegiate Team.
Gosea, 18, a sophomore from Wales, won the Bud Simpson Open at Lewis and Clark this past June.
No. 1 seed Marcelo Arevalo, 21, of Sonsonate, El Salvador will face American Kyle McMorrow at 8 a.m.
Arevalo, a former University of Tulsa Player, is ranked 411 in the world and has won four ITF Futures titles in singles and five in doubles.
McMorrow, a senior at the University of Washington, finished his season with the Huskies at the No. 28 spot in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.
No. 2 Cesar Ramirez, of Mexico, is ranked 432 and has won at least one ITF Futures event every year since 2008. He will play Gonzalo Lama, of Chile.
The tournament is free and open to the public with covered seating available. For more information, call (618) 468-6252. For the latest in tournament news and to view/download photos visit the tournament website