Archive for October, 2009

2009 USTA Pro Circuit – Calabasas, CA

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Hey Tennis Friends!

Setting the example of how easy it is to see pro tennis, I went to the website to find a local challenger event on the USTA Pro Circuit.

Because of my mid-week tennis commitments, I was not able to attend until semifinal day. However, earlier in the week, fans saw action from such players as Bradley Klahn (who was featured in my Claremont report), Vince Spadea, Jessie Levine, Taylor Dent, and the number one seed, Kevin Kim.

The first semifinal was between two over-30 veteran players, Cecil Mamiit (33), from the USA (but playing for the Philippines), and American Michael Russell (31).
The second semifinal was also between two Americans, Michael Yani (28), who had just reached his career high of #189, and last year’s semifinalist and 2007 finalist, Donald Young (20).

The weather was fantastic for this fall day in Southern California . . .

In the first match, it was all the #2 seed, Michael Russell, as he commanded a 5-0 lead. Cecil Mamiit was able to get in one game, before Russell finished off the first set.
In the second set, things got more competitive as Russell had to save three second set points (after being down 5-3), to get himself into a tie breaker. Down 4-1 in the tiebreaker, Russell, who is the USTA Pro Circuit’s all-time leader in tournament wins with 20, pulled himself together to make it into the championship round over the 2002 finalist:
6-1, 7-6(6).

The second match was fraught with unforced errors, more than winners. Donald Young, who took out former Top 25 player Taylor Dent in the round of 16, made relatively quick work of Michael Yani, by taking out the former Duke All-American:
6-3, 6-1.

In the final the next day, unseeded Donald Young, whose only singles titles have been in California (Aptos in 2007 and Sacramento in 2008), was able to add a third career title, with his straight set championship win over Michael Russell:
7-6(4) 6-1.

“I know it came in the fall but it feels great to get my first tournament win of the year,” said a smiling Young, who lost to Russell back in February in Dallas. “Michael gets a lot of balls back. He doesn’t ever give up so you just have to stay in there and be patient.”

I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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