APTOS, August 3, 2016
20-year-old Ernesto Escobedo now ranked No. 205 in the world travels to Aptos, California in less than a week with an agenda. Last week the US-American stormed through competition at the Lexington Challenger to secure his first Challenger title and take the lead in the 2016 U.S. Open Wildcard Challenge.
The $100,000 Nordic Naturals Challenger presented by Santa Cruz County Bank is the final chance for US-American participants to earn points with each round won. The player with the most points following Aptos will receive direct entry into the main draw of the U.S. Open. Therefore, Ernesto’s performance at Seascape could very well propel him into his first ever Grand Slam main draw before 2016 comes to a close.
After turning professional in 2014, Ernesto, from West Covina, California, posted promising results on the ITF Futures Circuit. Just one year ago, Ernesto fell in the qualifying rounds of the Aptos Challenger. However, the young-gun has undoubtedly made a breakthrough and hit his stride in 2016 with four months of the year still remaining. Earlier this year Ernesto achieved main draw appearances in multiple ATP events including the Aegon Nottingham Open and Citi Open. He clinched his first Challenger title, broke into the top 300 and even secured victories over top 100 competition.
Escobedo’s success in Lexington was well earned after defeating his US-American counter-part No. 157 Frances Tiafoe, 18, in the finals. However, No. 212 US-American Mitchell Krueger, 22, trails less than 20 points behind Escobedo in the Wildcard Challenge. Between Escobedo and Kruger, the stage is set at Seascape. Both young competitors head into Aptos hungry to capitalize on the priceless opportunity to earn direct entry into the main draw of the U.S. Open.