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Racket Sports / By Charlie Garfinkel: Miller Tennis Center holds fifth straight pro event

Miller Tennis Center will be hosting a USTA Pro Circuit tennis event for the fifth straight year. The law firm of Sargent & Collins LLP will be the title sponsor.

From 2011-2013 the $10,000 Women’s Championships were held at Miller. Lauren Davis, who won the event in 2011, was ranked 43rd in the world last year. Recently, she had a phenomenal win over Eugenie Bouchard, who is the sixth-ranked women’s player in the world. Another former tournament great was Alisa Klaybanova, who was ranked as high as 20th in the world and has a win over Venus Williams.

This year, the USTA Men’s Future Pro Circuit event will be at Miller for the second straight year June 13-21. Players will come from 21 countries. Three local standouts that will compete include Winston Lin, of East Amherst, who is in the qualifying draw. He’s a Columbia University standout and recently reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Championships and is a two-time All-American. His accomplishment of reaching the quarterfinals has never been achieved by any other local collegian in WNY history.

Tony Miller of East Amherst will be playing in the wild card main draw (June 5-7) and is on the UB men’s tennis team. Last year, in the Men’s Future event at Miller, he lost to the present NCAA Men’s Singles Champion Ryan Shane, 6-3, 6-1.

Marcus Fugate of Rochester will be playing in the qualifying draw. He has won five Future Doubles events in the past few years.

Other notables in the tournament include Darian King of Barbados, ranked 252nd in the world. He lost in a close match in Gundeloute to Marcus Baghditis, a leading pro player, by the scores of 7-5, 7-6. He has won nine pro singles and 12 pro doubles titles.

Matija Pecotic of Croatia is ranked 348th in the world. He has won two pro singles titles and two pro doubles titles – all in 2015. Thomas Lipovsek Luches of Argentina is rankied 380th in the world with four pro singles titles and six pro doubles titles to his credit. Hans Hach of Mexico is currently ranked 610th in singles and 260th in doubles in the world. He and his partner Louis Patino recently defeated Mardy Fish and Mark Knowles, who were once the number one ranked doubles team in the world. Gregory Oullette (USA) has had a career high ranking of 269 in the world in singles and has defeated Steve Johnson, who recently defeated Grigor Dimitrov in the French Open. Dimitrov is the world’s 10th ranked player. Michael Shabaz (USA) has been ranked as high as 394th in the world in singles and is a two-time NCAA Doubles Champions. He holds a win over King, who is in the running for being the top seed in this year’s tournament.

The tournament is free to all spectators. The qualifying matches take place on the first three days (June 13-15) with play commencing at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. The main draw starts on June 16 at 10 a.m. and continues throughout the day. The singles semifinals and the doubles final take place on June 20 starting at 12 p.m. The grand finale, the Men’s Singles Championship, will be played at 1 p.m. on June 21.

The Wild Card tournament singles champion receives a wild card into the main draw of the Pro tournament, while the second and third place finishers earn wild cards into the Pro Event’s qualifying draw. The first-place doubles team will earn a spot in the Pro Events main draw. Last year’s doubles champions were Lee Nickell, UB’s head tennis coach, and Alexey Kalinin, a teaching pro at Miller Tennis Center.

For more information, go to Millertenniscenter.com or call 632-8600.

White to compete in Worlds

Ken White of Elma will be among 24 players who will represent the United States at the International Tennis Federation Seniors World Team Championships in France June 8-13.

The event is the senior counterpart of the Davis Cup (for men) and Fed Cup (for women). White, who will be competing in the Men’s 50 & Over division for the third time, will be playing both singles and doubles, and is also the team’s captain.

White, 53, has won many major senior titles and is presently ranked as the number one player in the U.S. in both singles and doubles in the 50-54 age division.

Other team members in the 50-54 division are Mitchell Perkins of Seattle, Doug Ely of Springfield, Mo., and Kelly Ward of League City, Tex.

The ITF Seniors World Team Championships is the most prestigious event on the ITF Seniors Circuit for senior male and female tennis players. The World Individual Senior Championships will also be held in Le Baule from June 14-21st.

Marsh Cup upcoming

The Marsh Cup tennis matches, which are composed of teams from Buffalo, Syracuse, Toronto, and Rochester, will be held in Buffalo June 13-14 at 10 a.m. at the Village Glen Tennis Club in Williamsville.

The Marsh Cup started in 1927 and has been in existence for 62 years. It ended in 1932 during the Depression and was started up again in 1953. Outstanding players from all four cities compete in 17 different divisions. There is no charge to attend the matches and spectators are encouraged to attend.

On Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. Buffalo will play Syracuse and Rochester will play Toronto starting at 11:30 a.m. On Sunday, the winners of each match will play for the championship starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Maria Lapetina is the team captain, The event is sponsored by the Buffalo Niagara Community Tennis Association (BNCTA) with help from USTA Western Region. For further information contact the Village Glen at 633-1635.

email: thegreatgar@verizon.net