APTOS, August 5, 2018
On the first day of the 31st annual $100,000 Nordic Naturals Challenger presented by Santa Cruz County Bank, spectators could witness a highly competitive atmosphere by an overwhelmingly large amount of New-Gen-Players.
The top seed of the qualifying, Yosuke Watanuki of Japan, defeated Australia’s Thomas Fancutt 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 12 minutes to move on to the next round. Watanuki is one of the youngest and most promising players competing in this years ATP Challenger, having a ranking of 287 and being only 20 years old. Watanuki faces off against Marcos Giron on Sunday.
There were also several players come back from previous years, one being Daniel Evans. The 29-year-old Briton led4-6, 7-6(4), 2-0 over Alafia Ayenia when the US-American was forced to retire. Evans has a career high ranking of World No. 41, and won his last three ATP Challengers in 2016.
Evans will take on Luke Saville of Australia in the final round of the qualifying. The 24-year-old Barmera resident also won by retirement, leading 6-4, 6-7(4), 4-0 over US-American Alex Rybakov.