Baker Through To Quarterfinals At Lexington Challenger

Brian Baker (photo: Kentucky Tennis Championships)

LEXINGTON, July 29, 2016

It was an action-packed day in Lexington on Thursday, as second-seeded Malik Jaziri (TUN) was outsed by Daniel Nguyen (USA) in three sets in just over two hours, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 and then in the night session under the lights, Rio-bound US-American Brian Baker (USA), a wild card into the Kentucky Bank Classic defeated Liam Broady (GBR), 6-4, 6-4.

In the night session, Baker was sensational at the net all night and his serve was working for him, as he was only broken once during the entire match en route to a straight-set win over Broady. In the first set, Baker and Broady exchanged nine straight service holds to put Broady at the line serving at 4-5 to stay in the set. Baker used two punishing forehand returns up the line to win the 10th game of the set, and break to secure a 6-4 first-set win.

In the second set, Baker broke Broady to start the second set and take a 2-0 lead after he served out a clean first game. Serving at 2-0, Broady broke Baker at 15 to get the set back on level terms after a consolidating hold for 3-3. Baker then was able to break in the crucial ninth game of the set for 5-4 and served out the final service game at 30 and held on for a straight-sets win over Broady.

Baker will face qualifier Alex Kuznetsov (USA) in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Kuznetsov defeated (8) Stefan Kozlov in three sets indoors on Thursday to book his spot in the quarterfinals with a 6-4 third-set win over his fellow American.

Nguyen needed three sets and two hours and one minute to knock out the No. 2 overall seed in the draw on Thursday, as he served at 50 percent in the match and won over 75 percent of his first-serve points in the match, with over 79 percent in the third set alone. Nguyen got two breaks of serve after serving first in the third set and then went on to cruise to a win.

Nguyen will face Andrew Whittington (AUS) in the quarterfinals of the tournament after he earned a tough three-set win today over Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND) indoors during the day session of Thursday’s play.

I’ve had a good run here recently,” Whittington said. “I’m trying to keep it positive on the court. I’m just going to try and keep my injuries to a bare minimum and it’s been a good year so far. I hope to just keep going along.”

In the women’s draw, Jovana Jaksic (SRB) continued the trend of this tournament by ousting a seeded player. Jaksic won 7-6 (5), 6-0 over ninth-seeded An-Sophie Mestach (BEL) on the main show courts indoors during the day session. Mestach became the seventh of nine seeded players in the draw to already be eliminated in competition. Also losing as a seeded player in the draw on Thursday was fourth-seeded Lin Zhu (CHN) and the 151st-ranked player in the world, who lost to US-American Jamie Loeb (USA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

The only two seeded players remaining are top-seeded Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL), who won 6-2, 6-3 over Alison Bai (USA) and fifth-seeded Hiroko Kuwata (JPN), who beat Katy Dunne (GBR) after Dunne was forced to retire with a groin injury early in the second set.

Thursday, July 28 – Results
Men’s Singles – Second Round
D. Nguyen (USA) d [2] M. Jaziri (TUN) 64 46 61
[Q] A. Kuznetsov (USA) d [8] S. Kozlov (USA) 36 63 64
[WC] B. Baker (USA) d L. Broady (GBR) 64 63
A. Whittington (AUS) d R. Ramanathan (IND) 76(4) 46 64 

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
J. Nedunchezhiyan (IND) / R. Ramanathan (IND) d [2] D. O’Brien (RSA) / R. Roelofse (RSA) 64 62
[4] L. Saville (AUS) / J. Thompson (AUS) d N. Meister (USA) / E. Quigley (USA) 62 62
N. Scholtz (RSA) / T. Vorster (RSA) d S. Bangoura (USA) / J. Statham (NZL) 76(5) 63