HOUSTON, November 12, 2019
In a thrilling match that lasted more than two hours, US-American Raymond Sarmiento pulled out a tough battle on a rain-interrupted Monday at the George R. Brown Tennis Center over compatriot Evan King 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to book his spot in the second round of the Oracle Challenger Series Houston.
The 27-year-old Los Angeles resident, who played college tennis at the University of Southern California, outpointed his rival and good friend 102-92 to prevail after two hours and five minutes.
⏰2 hours, 5 minutes
🔢 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
— Oracle Challenger Series (@OracleChallngrs) November 11, 2019
“I’ve known Evan for years now,” said Sarmiento, as quoted on the Oracle Challenger Series website. “We’ve grown up together and we’re good buds. So, it’s tough playing a good friend on tour, but it was also one of the most fun matches I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, one of us had to lose.”
The World No. 583 was happy with his performance after coming back from a set down. “I just kept saying, ‘keep going, keep playing my game,” reflected Sarmiento. “And it ended up my way. I was attacking any short ball and any balls that were floating really well, playing first-strike tennis. That’s my game. Even if I was missing three or four in a row, I just kept at it.”
Sarmiento now faces No.14 seed and last weekend’s Knoxville Challenger champion Michael Mmoh. Later in the day, five matches were suspended due to rain and are scheduled to resume on Tuesday morning.
Men’s Singles – First Round
E. Leshem (ISR) d C. Heyman (BEL) 64 64
G. Nanda (USA) d [WC] O. Crawford (USA) 64 63
F. Meligeni Rodrigues Alves (BRA) d [WC] Z. Khan (USA) 64 63
G. Escobar (ECU) d E. Zhu (USA) 62 76(4)
P. Heller (GER) d A. Ritschard (USA) 63 75
L. Caruana (ITA) d [WC] M. Abdel-Aziz (EGY) 62 64
A. Vavassori (ITA) d M. Descotte (ARG) 64 63
R. Sarmiento (USA) d E. King (USA) 46 64 75
Men’s Qualifying Singles – First Round
Qualifying –  A. Galarneau (CAN) d [WC] F. Barnett (USA) 62 62
Qualifying –  A. Ayeni (USA) d [WC] J. Maginley (ANT) 62 62