2013 USTA Pro Circuit Sacramento Challenger Preview, Predictions
Steen Kirby, Tennis East Coast
The USTA Pro Circuit is back! Actually….it started again last week in Napa Valley, but this week it is in Sacramento on hard courts for the 100k Sactown challenger. Here is your preview.
Sacramento Pro Circuit Challenger
Sacramento, California, USA
September 28-October 6, 2013
Prize Money: $100,000
Top 8 seeds
1: Denis Kudla
2: Tim Smyczek
3: Matt Ebden
4: Rajeev Ram
5: Rhyne Williams
6: Alex Kuznetsov
7: Bradley Klahn
8: Donald Young
A typical American heavy field for the pro circuit: top seed is ranked 99, 8th seed is 142.
First round matchups to watch:
(7)Rhyne Williams vs. Dan Evans
Rhyne Williams did not have a great summer, but he almost exclusively played ATP level tennis and he won a couple of matches in Napa, reaching the quarterfinals. Dan Evans, meanwhile, had a deep run at the US Open and a great summer but comes off a first round loss in Napa. They have never played before. I make Evans a slight favorite.
(4)Rajeev Ram vs. Nick Kyrgios
Veteran American journeyman Rajeev Ram takes on the young rising Aussie Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios helped Australia in the Davis Cup and takes his talents back to the US, while Ram played in Kuala Lumpur and makes his way back to the US from there. This is an interesting style clash, and I give Kyrgios a slight edge given his good form.
Napa quarterfinalist Denis Kudla opens with Bradley Cox before facing Steve Johnson or Matt Reid in a tricky round 2 match. Kudla or Johnson will likely play one of Donald Young/Peter Gojowczyk, who meet in the first round. Young comes off the Napa Challenger title. Other options are James McGee/Collin Altamirano.
Napa challenger finalist Matt Ebden opens with Austin Krajicek. The winner will face Robby Ginepri/Tennys Sandgren in round 2. Williams/Evans or Jarmere Jenkins/JP Smith will be the quarterfinal opponent from this section.
Tim Smyczek will take on youngster Noah Rubin. Smyczek comes off semis in Napa. In round 2, he should face Bobby Reynolds, who plays a qualifier to start. The quarterfinal opponent here is one of Sam Groth/Denys Molchanov/Peter Polansky/Alex Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov comes off semis in Napa.
Ram/Kyrgios will take on Robert Kendrick or a qualifier and in the quarters, one of Ben Mitchell/Bradley Klahn or a pair of qualifiers.
Evans d. Young
Kuznetsov d. Kyrgios
Evans d. Kuznetsov