By Liz Curran
ATP Challenger Round Up (W/e 6th October 2013)
Sacramento Challenger, California
Our mid-week update reported on two good first round main draw wins from two British Dans, who both beat higher ranked, seeded, opponents. This is what happened next.
In round two Dan Cox (WR263) faced Australian Matt Reid (WR 235), who has a lot of experience at Challenger level. The first set went on serve until the sixth game when Reid broke and then held to take a 5-2 lead.
Dan broke back the next game but after a tight service game with three deuces he lost serve for the second time handing Reid the first set 6-4.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with Reid securing two breaks of serve to Dan Cox’s single break.
Final score – Matt Reid d Dan Cox 6-4 6-3.
Dan Cox has had a lot of success at futures level this summer, winning several titles in quick succession. He is now working very hard to make the step up to the much tougher Challenger level.
On the evidence of these two weeks in America he has made a promising start and is learning fast what is required at this higher level.
The next day British number two Dan Evans (WR156) took on American wildcard Jarmere Jenkins (WR542).
Extreme weather conditions made life very difficult for both players. It was very windy with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour. The trees swayed wildly, a tent collapsed on the commentator’s head and equipment needed to be pinned down.
The livestream camera wobbled as if it too might fly away at any moment. The unforced error count (or maybe that should be the wind forced error count) rose for both players with a lot of balls flying out of court or into the net.
The first set was tight and it went to Evans thanks to a single break of serve in the sixth game. The second set went to Jenkins as he scored two breaks of serve to Evans’ one.
In the final set the crucial seventh game saw Evans broken to trail 3-5 and giving Jenkins the chance to serve out the match which he duly did.
Dan Evans was clearly disappointed with his performance and tweeted later: “…..Bad day” and commented that he had “never known anything like it”.
Hopefully this loss will be a useful learning experience for him.
It should however also be noted that Jenkins has just graduated from the American tennis college system where he had a pretty stellar resume. He was the 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Associate national player of the year. His ranking is therefore deceptive, since he has only been competing professionally since July 2013.
Final score – Jarmere Jenkins d Dan Evans 3-6 6-3 6-3
Dan Evans was scheduled to also play in the doubles this week pairing up with young Australian Nick Kyrgios. However emergency dental treatment, in fact a tooth extraction, meant that he had to pull out of the doubles (no pun intended).
We therefore need to wait a little longer to see these two play together. Get well soon Dan!