Eight first round singles and four first round doubles matches set for Wednesday
Top seeded Takanyi Garanganga of Zimbabwe, who lost in the finals last year, was defeated by Belgium’s Michael Geerts in the first round of singles play in the Los Cab USTA Men’s Futures $15,000 tennis tournament at Los Caballeros Racquet and Sports Club.’
Garanganga, age 27 and ranked 420th in the world, won the first match, 6-4, but Geerts, 22, who has played mostly in Europe, rallied to beat him in the next two sets, including 7-5 in the third set. It marked Geerts’ third time advancing past the first round in an American Futures tournament.
Also advancing into the second round were second-seeded Benjamin Lock, also of Zimbabwe, who defeated San Juan Capistrano’s Gavin Spencer, who had won a junior tournament to advance to the main draw, in straight sets. Isaiah Strode, a 20-year-old native of El Cajon, also advanced to the second round.
Geerts earned a second victory and advanced to the second round in doubles, as he and partner Alex Blumenberg, of Brazil, defeated the American duo of Strong Kirchheimer and Raleigh Smith. Martin Redlicki, who plays for the UCLA tennis team, and doubles partner Karue Sell, of Brazil, also advanced to the second round, toppling Americans Josh Hagar and Samuel Shropshire. Five of the top eight seeds will play Wednesday, including America’s Evan Song, the third seed, and fifth-seeded Ryan Shane, who won the event in 2016.
Part of the developmental tour of the USTA, the free event, which ran for 18 years in Costa Mesa before moving to Fountain Valley last year is an opportunity to see the future of professional tennis today.
“Los Caballeros Racquet & Sports Club is the hub of Southern California tennis,” Lloyd says. “This event is a great opportunity to bring future professional tennis starts through this venue and appreciate the pathway of the sport. Great relationships are made between club members and the pros, and it’s an opportunity for everyone to appreciate and grow the game.”
The singles and doubles championship will be held Sunday, Oct. 1.
The final Sunday will also feature a free junior play day for kids designed to introduce them to the game of tennis. It will run from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact Los Caballeros Racquet & Sports Club 714-756-8560 for more info and to sign up.
Last year’s event was won by Sebastian Fanselow, a German citizen, who beat Takanyi Garanganga, of Zimbabwe, in straight sets. Fanselow nearly claimed a second title, but he and his partner, Sebastian Bader, were defeated by the New Mexican brother tandem of Hunter and Yates Johnson in the doubles final.
Other recent champions of the event include Steve Johnson, who won in 2011 and is currently ranked 45nd in the world, and Bradley Klahn, of Poway, who won the 2013 event and who competed in this year’s U.S. Open. Ernesto Escobedo, who lost in the finals in 2014 and 2015, is currently ranked 81st in the world.
The Los Caballeros Racquet & Sports club is located at 17272 Newhope Street, In Fountain Valley. It is a comprehensive sports club, offering everything from swimming and volleyball courts, to personal fitness and group exercise classes. For more information, call (714) 546-8560, or visit www.loscab.com.