STOCKTON, October 5, 2016
On the second day of main draw competition of the $100,000 Stockton Challenger, held at the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center, number one overall seed and US-American, Bjorn Fratangelo was taken down by the 187th world ranked Joris De Loore of Belgium
Despite losing the first game, Fratangelo took the next three to go up 3-1 over De Loore and the final two to take the first set 6-3. De Loore bounced back and never trailed in the second set, winning 6-3. In the deciding third set De Loore went 100 per cent in break points won and took the third set 7-5, which granted him victory of the world number 112 in two hours and 11 minutes.
Of the six seeded players that saw action Tuesday, only two would advance to the round of 16. Tim Smyczek, the second seeded US-American went head to head against Grega Zemlja of Slovenia. Smyczek, who had a previous ranking of 68th in the world back in April of 2015 and upset John Isner at the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami earlier this year, won 90 per cent of his first service points and moves on to the second round winning in three set 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. The encounter lasted one hour and 40 minutes.
Ex Pacific-Tigers In Action
Tuesday’s play also saw ex-Pacific Tiger Sem Verbeek and current Tiger Jose Chamba Gomez. Verbeek faced Mackenzie McDonald, who made college tennis history this year by sweeping both the NCAA singles and doubles titles, the first men’s player in 15 years to accomplish this feat. McDonald beat Verbeek 6-2, 6-2 in 65 minutes.
“Coming home is a great experience, especially at this level. I was used to dictating at the college level and that’s what I aspire to do in the pros as well but it takes time and effort and a lot of hard work and that’s what makes it really exciting,” said Verbeek.
In Verbeek’s last season with the Tigers, he was the West Coast Conference men’s tennis player of the year along with All-WCC in doubles partnering with Chamba Gomez, who also lost in the opening round 6-1, 6-4 to Alessandro Giannessi.
Moving on in the tournament will be six US-Americans along with Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, El Salvador, Barbados, and Italy also being represented.
In doubles action, Blaz Rola and Grega Zemlja of Slovenia were victorious earning themselves the final spot in the doubles main draw. They will face Quentin Halys and Denis Novikov in Wednesday’s action.
Main draw matches Wednesday will feature Frances Tiafoe taking on fellow US-American and qualifier, Dennis Nevolo and number two seed Smyczek battling the former UCLA player, Mackenzie McDonald.