APTOS, August 10, 2016
Chicago-native Evan King created the upset of the day on Tuesday, taking out the No. 2 seed of the $100,000 Nordic Naturals Challenger presented by Santa Cruz Country Bank, Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-4, 7-5. The 24-year-old US-American yet to reach the top hundred beat the odds today when he clinched the victory against No. 85 Nishioka.
The match was filled with long, grueling rallies, but King came out on top, forcing 20-year-old Nishioka, who just reached the semifinals of the BB&T Atlanta Open, to come up short. After struggling with several injuries and dropping over 200 ranking spots in less than two years, King’s victory today over Nishioka represents the biggest win of his career.
US-American and current leader of the U.S. Open Wildcard Challenge, 20-year-old Ernesto Escobedo, held his own as the No. 6 seed today upon defeating Yautaka Uchiyama of Japan 6-3, 6-4.
However, a second upset found its way to center court between two Americans. 21-year-old wildcard Mackenzie McDonald defeated No. 4 seed Stefan Koslov 6-1, 6-4. Last month, the No. 1 college player in the nation, McDonald announced he was surrendering one last year of eligibility at UCLA to turn professional. McDonald, originally from Northern California, captured the 2016 NCAA championships in both singles and doubles, being the first player to win both events in the same season in 15 years.
In his first Aptos main draw appearance, Koslov, 18, failed to break McDonald’s serve the entire match. Even though Koslov managed to stay on serve in the second set, McDonald converted his fifth break point to successfully serve out the match.
No. 3 seed and 2015 Aptos semifinalist, Bjorn Fratangelo secured an early 4-0 lead against fellow US-American, Alex Kuznetsov in Tuesday evening’s feature match. Ten years after winning his first Challenger Title at Aptos, Kuznetsov lost the first set in only 23 minutes. Closing out the first set with an ace, Fratangelo clinched the match in straight sets 6-2, 7-6.