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Ryan Sweeting Gets Wildcard to Play 2014 USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas
(March 17, 2014) – Former US Open junior winner Ryan Sweeting has been receiving more attention for his off-court activities recently, but he hopes that all changes this week as the 2014 USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas gets underway at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.
Sweeting will make his return to the courts this week after being granted a wild card into the USTA $15,000 Pro Circuit Futures event by the tournament committee.
After three months of dating and on New Year’s Eve, 2013, the 26-year-old Sweeting married actress and former USTA-ranked junior Kaley Cuoco after an introduction by mutal friend Mike Bryan. Cuoco is the star of the comedy TV show “The Big Bang Theory.”
On Sunday, the LA Times reported that the couple had bought the Tarzana estate from Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian for $5.5 million. The Mediterranean-style villa sits on three-quarters of an acre in gated Mulholland Park.
The former world No. 2 junior is originally from the Bahamas and became a U.S. citizen in 2006. His highest ATP world ranked was No. 64 in 2011. He is familiar with the Calabasas courts having made it all the way to the final of the then $50,000-level Challenger in 2010 falling to Australia’s Marinko Matosevic.
Tournament director Jeff Richards announced that on Saturday evening before the singles semifinals, a Kaley Cuoco & Friends Exhibition will take place with celebrities and pro players taking part.
Joining Sweeting in the draw is last week’s Bakersfield Futures singles winner and No. 5-seeded Daniel Kosakowski formerly of UCLA. Ireland’s James McGee, ranked No. 222 in the ATP World Tour rankings, is the top seed.
Besides Sweeting, other wild cards went to 16-year-old Taylor Fritz of Rancho Santa Fe, Carl-Henrik Hansen of Sweden and UCLA senior Clay Thompson. One of the world’s top current junior players Stefan Kozlov, 16, of Florida was granted a junior exemption and will take on No. 8-seeded Darien King in the first round on Tuesday. Kozlov made it to the Australian Open Junior final back in January.
The top-seeded player in qualifying Sekou Bangoura won three rounds over the past three days to qualify into the main draw. Bangoura won the first USTA Pro Circuit tournament of 2014, the $10,000 Futures in Plantation, Fla. It marked the second of Bangoura’s career as he also won the $10,000 Futures in Niceville, Fla., in 2013.
Sweeting was also given a wild card in doubles and will team with Gary Sacks of Calabasas as the pair drew the top-seeded team of Bangoura and Evan King on Tuesday not before 4 p.m.
Monday’s Final Qualifying Scores
Sekou Bangoura, U.S. (1), def. Connor Smith (16), U.S., 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
Mbonisi Ndimande, Zimbabwe, def. Andres Zepeda, U.S., 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
Ernesto Escobedo, U.S. (5), def. Damon Gooch, South Africa (11), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1)
Miko Santiago, U.S. (9), def. Alexios Halebian, U.S. (6), 6-4, 7-5
Evan Song, U.S., (8) def. Andrei Marinescu, Romania, 6-2, 6-3
Kyle McMorrow, U.S. (7), def. Kaichi Uchida, Japan (10), 7-5, 6-1
Andre Dome, U.S., def. Ryan Agar, Australia (4), 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-6 (8)
Dennis Novikov, U.S. (2), def. Hans Hach (15), Mexico, walkover