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It Was A Big Day For Chris

Photo courtesy of GA Tech website

Photo courtesy of GA Tech website

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to watch 3 Young Guns battle it out for a spot in the main draw of the BB&T Atlanta Open. What an opportunity for these young players and what fun to be there seeing the future of tennis!

The first match of the day was Tobias Kamke, a 30-year-old veteran from Germany, vs. the 18-year-old American Michael Mmoh who is slated to play Kalamazoo next week. Both players held serve for the first 8 games with Kamke having several opportunities to break while Mmoh never seemed to get a good handle on the Kamke serve. Kamke finally did get the break to go up 5-4 and served out the first set, winning it 6-4.

The second set was all Kamke as he went up 4-0 before Mmoh finally held in the 5th game. Even though he had an uphill battle ahead of him, Mmoh stayed very calm and collected, going after his serve and big groundstrokes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, and Kamke took the 2nd set 6-2, moving on to the 2nd and final round of qualies.

The next match was 22-year-old Brazilian Thiago Monteiro vs. 16-year-old local Trent Bryde who received a wildcard into the qualifying tournament after winning last year’s Wildcard Playoff. Bryde is also slated to play in Kalamazoo next week. The Georgia native definitely had the crowd on his side given that his entire family, Lifetime Fitness players and coaches, and local friends were all out in force! Unfortunately, though, that wasn’t enough as the more experienced lefty Monteiro capitalized on too many errors from Bryde, running away with the first set 6-0.

At 1-0 Monteiro in the 2nd set, the rain came, and play was halted for over an hour. Bryde’s mom, Kathi, felt the rain would be to her son’s advantage since he could take a breath and get some advice from his team of coaches during the break. Once the players restarted, it seemed that Kathi was right – Bryde held serve, staying with Monteiro through the first 5 games. At that point, though, Monteiro broke and held to go up 5-2. After the side change, Bryde decided to pick up a different racquet as he served to stay in the match. One of his buddies yelled from the stand, “That’s my doubles partner!” as the players walked back on court. During that final game, Bryde’s serve just wasn’t working for him, and he double-faulted the last two points, giving Monteiro the win 6-0 6-2.

The rain held off just long enough for the 3rd match to run its course, and it was the one that had me and many of the fans most excited: 2015 Junior French Open champion Tommy Paul vs. GA Tech rising junior Chris Eubanks. Some of you may remember that Paul had committed to play college tennis at UGA before making the decision early last summer to turn pro instead.

After losing his serve in the first game of the match, Eubanks went on a roll, cruising to a quick 5-2 lead. Paul was up to serve, but Eubanks proved too strong, hitting a scorching inside-out forehand to break and take the first set 6-2.

The 2nd set started with an early Paul break of serve to go up 2-1, consolidating the break and holding for a 3-1 lead then breaking a second time to go up 4-1. At that point, it really looked like the match was going 3 sets. However, Eubanks recouped one of the breaks then held with some huge serving to bring the set back into his reach. Eubanks broke again, tying things up at 4 a piece, then held at love to take the lead for the first time in the set. Paul came on strong, also holding at love to even the score at 5-5. A third love hold, this time by Eubanks, gave him the lead again, forcing Paul to hold in order to stay in the match. A big forehand return by Eubanks gave him the early advantage, but Paul quickly evened the score after a forehand error from Eubanks. That was short-lived, though, after a Paul double fault and backhand error gave Eubanks 2 match points. Staying focused, Paul served an ace to stave off the first match point, but Eubanks drew the error off the Paul forehand in the next point to take the match 6-2 7-5. He will face Thiago Monteiro today, with the winner moving into the Main Draw.

Here are the rest of Saturday’s results plus the order of play for today:

RESULTS – JULY 30, 2016

Qualifying Singles – First Round

Qualifying – [1] T. Monteiro (BRA) d [WC] T. Bryde (USA) 60 62

Qualifying – [2] T. Kamke (GER) d M. Mmoh (USA) 64 62

Qualifying – [3] A. Krajicek (USA) d L. Glasspool (GBR) 76(6) 46 64

Qualifying – [4] M. Zverev (GER) d M. Reid (AUS) 64 62

Qualifying – [5] J. Duckworth (AUS) d J. Londero (ARG) 62 62

Qualifying – [WC] C. Eubanks (USA) d [6] T. Paul (USA) 62 75

Qualifying – [7] J. Smith (AUS) d A. Carter (USA) 63 63

Qualifying – N. Meister (USA) d [8] A. Sarkissian (USA) 57 63 64


STADIUM COURT start 11:00 am

Qualifying – [1] T. Monteiro (BRA) vs [WC] C. Eubanks (USA)

Not Before 12:30 pm

Qualifying – [4] M. Zverev (GER) vs N. Meister (USA)

Not Before 7:30 pm

Exhibition Match – J. McEnroe (USA) vs S. Bruguera (ESP)


Qualifying – [2] T. Kamke (GER) vs [7] J. Smith (AUS)

Not Before 1:30 pm

Qualifying – [3] A. Krajicek (USA) vs [5] J. Duckworth (AUS)

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