FAIRFIELD, October 11, 2018 (Press Release)
Casper Ruud grew up in Oslo, Norway, but he is quite familiar with life in the United States.
“My grandparents have a home down in Florida, so I have some good memories of the states,” Ruud said. “I haven’t done too much since I’ve been in California, but they still have P.F. Chang’s and The Cheesecake Factory to go to, so I’m enjoying that a lot.”
The 19-year-old is hoping to pick up some more meal money with a strong showing in the $100,000 NorthBay Healthcare Men’s Pro Championship this week at Solano Community College in Fairfield. He’s now through two rounds of the 32-man singles draw after a 6-1, 7-6(4) win over JC Aragone of the U.S. on Wednesday.
Ruud made quick work of Aragone in the first set before getting locked into a tiebreaker in the second. He pulled out the final set to move into the third round.
“I just tried to fight, stay strong, battle through, and luckily I got it at the end,” Ruud said. “At times there was a great level for both of us. It was close in many games.”
Ruud qualified for the Australian Open, the French Open and the U.S. Open this year, though he had early exits. His berth in the Australian made him the first Norwegian to qualifying for a Grand Slam in 17 years.
The son of Christian Ruud, who got as high as 39th in his own career, Casper Ruud has reached two Challenger finals already this year and is hoping for a third here in Fairfield.
Wolf wins opening match
Another teen had a strong debut on Wednesday. Jeffrey John Wolf of the U.S. rallied to beat fellow American Evan King 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the last of the first-round singles matches, a holdover from Tuesday that was called by darkness. The Cincinnati native has played collegiately at Ohio State University and as a 19-year-old and currently ranked at No. 499 is the youngest professional right now in the top-500.
One of the tightest matches of the tournament came in the afternoon when eighth-seed Alex Bolt of Australia outlasted American Collin Altamirano in three tiebreakers, 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 7-6(5). Bolt entered the match 155th and Altamirano was 306th. It was a spirited showdown that lasted two hours and 50 minutes.
Qualifying Sebastian Fanselow of Germany earned a strong 6-4, 6-1 win over Lucas Miedler of Austria. Fanselow has won every day in Fairfield since Saturday. He is currently ranked 423rd in the world and could improve that with a strong finish in the NorthBay tournament.
In the evening session, second-seed Lloyd Harris of South Harris outlasted American Tommy Paul 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
In doubles, Harri Heliovaara of Finland teamed up with Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland for a 3-6, 6-2, 10-7 win over Ruan Roelofse of South Africa and John-Patrick Smith of Australia. Heliovaara is ranked 193rd in doubles and Laaksonen is 160th. Heliovaara has a 2007 Australian Open Boys Doubles Title to his credit.
Texas twins Hunter and Yates Johnson topped Swedes Andre Goransson and Andreas Siljestrom 6-4, 2-6, 10-6. The New Braunfels residents are 24 years old and are coached by their dad, Jeff Johnson. They are both ranked 261st in the world.
Aragone was back on the court for doubles with American Mitchell Krueger. Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland and Sem Verbeek of the Netherlands came away with a 6-2, 6-4 victory. The late doubles match featured top-seed Sanchai Ratiwatana of Thailand and Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia, who came away with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Australians Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia Matt Reid.
The ATP Challenger Series and USTA Pro Circuit event continues through Sunday. Evening tickets Thursday and Friday are just $5 with matches beginning around 6:30 p.m. Day sessions are free for spectators those days. Tickets are required all day Saturday and Sunday for $15 and feature semifinal and final competition.
Action continues on Thursday
Matches on Thursday begin at noon. Wolf faces third-seed Noah Rubin at noon on Chris Cammisa Court, followed by American Bjorn Fratangelo going against German Dominik Koepfer. Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain meets Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands in a 1 p.m. match on Eve Zimmerman Court. Top-seed Jordan Thompson of Australia meets Maxime Janvier of France in the evening match.
In an afternoon doubles match on Cammisa Court, Harris will team up with fellow South African Dean O’Brien to go up against Robert Galloway of the U.S. and Roberto Maytin of Venezuela. The Johnson twins face Sanchai Ratiwatana of Thailand and Christopher Rungat of Indonesia in the night match.
Thursday evening is NorthBay Healthcare Appreciation Night. All NorthBay staff and employees can get in for free with proper identification.
The annual tournament benefits the Chris Cammisa Tennis and Education Foundation, an organization that supports the men’s and women’s tennis programs at Solano College and also helps bring tennis to underserved youth throughout Solano County.