The American men tallied up the wins on a blistering day two of play in New Haven, as Oracle Challenger Series veterans Roy Smith, JC Aragone, Michael Mmoh and more took down a host of worthy opponents on Tuesday.
A gritty performance from Oracle Challenger Series Houston Finalist Roy Smith propelled him past American upstart Felix Corwin in a three-set thriller on Court 1. Smith, a New Haven native, was undoubtedly playing with a bit of extra motivation as he took the court in his hometown. It was smooth sailing in the first set, but Corwin battled back to tie up the match and make things interesting. Eventually, Smith was able to pull out the victory by a score of 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 and move on to the second round.
Aragone, who took home last year’s Indian Wells doubles title alongside fellow American Marcos Giron, bested Ireland’s Simon Carr 6-2, 6-3 in the first match of the day at the Yale Tennis Center. Aragone served up four aces and won an impressive 85% (17/20) of his first service points on the way to victory. In just over an hour of on court action, the American made a strong first impression in New Haven and put the rest of the men’s field on notice for the rest of this week’s play. Aragone has a tough matchup ahead of him next, as he meets No. 2 seed Brayden Schnur with a spot in the third round on the line.
New Haven marks the fourth Oracle Challenger Series event for Mmoh, having competed previously in Chicago, Newport Beach and Indian Wells. The World No. 196 looked stellar throughout his match against qualifying winner Liam Broady, overcoming a valiant effort from the young Australian on his way to a 6-1, 7-6(2) victory. Mmoh next meets tournament No. 5 seed Denis Kudla.
The first of several All-American matchups on day two featured Ulises Blanch and Alafia Ayeni, with the former triumphing in resounding 6-3, 6-2 fashion. Blanch, who also competed in Newport Beach, needed less than an hour to dispatch Ayeni behind the strength of five aces and winning 100% (4/4) of his break point opportunities.
Speaking of All-American action, Sekou Bangoura and Alexander Sarkissian battled it out during the day’s first matchup on Court 4. In his first career Oracle Challenger Series appearance, Bangoura overcame a strong effort from Sarkissian on his way to a 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3 victory.
Two more Americans followed the Bangoura/Sarkissian match on Court 4, as John McNally and Raymond Sarmiento took to the court with a spot in the New Haven second round on the line. A back-and-forth affair ultimately ended with a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 victory for McNally, who next meets No. 9 seed Marcos Giron.
The All-American showdowns continued well into the afternoon, as Strong Kirchheimer took on Oracle Challenger Series stalwart Ernesto Escobedo. It was Kirchheimer who emerged triumphant with a 6-4, 6-4 straight set victory, setting up an intriguing matchup against Oracle US Tennis Award recipient and No. 15 seed Christopher Eubanks.
Oracle Challenger Series Houston and Indian Wells competitor Thai-Son Kwiatkowski tallied another win for the Americans, charting his way to victory with a resounding 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Northern Mariana Islander Colin Sinclair.