UCLA, USC stars among those attempting to qualify for main draw, which begins Sept. 22
After two full days at the Costa Mesa Center, the stage is almost set for singles qualifiers to advance to the main draw of The United States Tennis Association’s Pro Circuit event at the Costa Mesa Tennis Center. Part of the developmental tour of the USTA, the free event is an opportunity to see the future of professional tennis today.
Qualifying beginsSunday at 10 a.m., with 16 players competing for the last eight slots in the 32-person main draw, which begins Tuesday, Sept. 22. The finals of singles qualifying is Monday.
Three of the top four seeds advanced Saturday, including top-seeded Keith-Patrick Crowley, of South Africa, third-seed MoezEchargui, of Tunisia, and fourth-seed Connor Farren, a junior at USC.Martin Redlicki, a sophomore at UCLA, was also among the 16 who advanced.
None of the qualifiers needed more than two sets to advance, besides America’s Austin Rapp, who needed three sets to defeat fellow American Ty Maguire.
The eight winners of Monday’s last round of qualifiers will advance to the $10,000 main draw, which begins Tuesday. Liam Broady, from Great Britain, is the highest-ranked seed, currently ranked 165th in the world. Six Americans are among the other 17 main draw confirmations, including Marcos Giron, of Thousand Oaks, formerly of UCLA (ranked 396th), Jean-Yves Aubone (520), Ernest Escobedo (533), of West Covina, who lost in the finals of the Costa Mesa event in 2013 and has advanced to four quarter-finals this year, Wil Spencer (560), Evan Song (579) and former UCLA standout Clay Thompson, (599).
Also in the main draw is UCLA junior Mackenzie McDonald,of Irvine, who plays Carson teen-ager Deighton Baughman in the finals of the Claremont Club Pro Classic Sunday.
Giron, who won the NCAA singles title in 2014, has a history with the Costa Mesa Pro Classic, finishing in the semi-finals of the singles in 2013, while claiming the doubles titles with fellow Bruin McDonald, the same year.
The first wildcard event, which began Aug. 22, was won by Australian Ryan Agar. MiomisKeumanovic, of Croatia, earned the last wildcard entry slot by winning a shootout on Sept. 17.
The Costa Mesa Tennis Center, a year-round tennis center that offers instruction and practice, is located at 880 Juniper Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 557-0211.
A Facebook page about the event can be found by typing in Costa Mesa Pro Classic or visiting, https://www.facebook.com/events/161913780599117/