Novikov Opens Title Defence At Cary Challenger

Dennis Novikov (photo: Atlantic Tire Championships)

CARY, NC, September 13, 2016

The last round of qualifying singles matches in the Atlantic Tire Championships tennis tournament saw Mackenzie McDonald from the United States, US-American Ryan Haviland, Erik Crepaldi from Italy and James McGee from Ireland advancing into the tournament’s main draw. The Atlantic Tire Championships, a $50,000 ATP Challenger event, is being held at Cary Tennis Park through Sunday, September 18.

In Monday’s main draw action, top seed and defending champion, Dennis Novikov, ousted Mikelis Libietis in a straight set, 7-6(6), 6-4 victory. This was the first meeting for Novikov and Libietis. The world number 126 from the United States withstood 13 aces, firing 12 of his own to prevail in one hour and 35 minutes.

Novikov will next take on Brydan Klein, who faced three match points against Sekou Bangoura and fought back to win the encounter. Klein won the 130 minutes match 1-6, 7-5, 6-2. Emilio Gomez dispatched Duke freshman, Nick Stachowiak, in a 6-1, 6-3 win.

The evening’s feature match showcased USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion Michael Mmoh against Tommy Paul. Down 0-5 in the first set, Mmoh battled back to win 5-7, 6-2, 6-4. Mmoh lost his serve four times but capitalized on six of his own break point chances to advance in one hour and 58 minutes.

In first round of the doubles main draw, third seeds Sekou Bangoura and Mitchell Krueger defeated Igor Saveljic and Ivan Saveljic in the quickest match of the day with a straight set, 6-1, 6-3 victory.