San Diego, Calif. – (May 31, 2016) – Top seed and defending men’s singles champion Emmanuel Mensah of San Diego began his title defense at the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships on a successful note as he eliminated fellow San Diegan Luis Argote 6-4, 6-0 in an early-morning second round match today.
On a cool, cloudy day at the Balboa Tennis Club, Mensah scored a critical service break at 5-4 to win the first set and then cruised through the second set without the loss of a game to advance to a third-round encounter against Ryan Kreis of Hoffman Estates, Ill., on Wednesday at 9 a.m. (PDT).
“I’m very happy to be back. There is a lot of pressure to defend the title, but I’m ready. There are no easy matches here and you have to be ready for every match,” said Mensah, who received a first-round bye. “There are a lot of solid players (in the draw) and the competition is tough.”
The 27-year-old Mensah is a local tennis teaching professional who played Davis Cup for Ghana from 2006 to 2013 and represented his native country in 25 ties. He is currently ranked No. 6 in the men’s singles Open Division in Southern California according to the latest USTA rankings.
Sixth-seeded Brian Battistone of Las Vegas got off to a strong start with a 6-3, 6-1 win over unseeded Christopher Dalton of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., to advance to the third round where he will meet Thomas Tomczak of Glendale, N.Y. Battistone, 36, is a former touring tennis professional who achieved a career-high No. 88 in the ATP World Tour doubles rankings in 2010.
In other second-round action, second-seeded Nicholas Kamisar of Sammamish, Wash., advanced with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over unseeded Alan Pleat of Roslyn, N.Y. The 24-year-old Kamisar, who played collegiate tennis for the University of Washington, will face unseeded Srikar Kuchibhotla of Mason, Ohio in a third-round match on Wednesday.
Women’s first-round matches are scheduled to start on Wednesday. Jessica Failla of Ramona, Calif., the women’s top seed, received a first-round bye and will play her second-round match on Thursday at 9 a.m. (PDT). Failla captured the San Diego Section CIF singles title in 2013 and recently completed her freshman year at the University of Southern California. The 18-year-old posted a 23-13 record in singles and finished at 20-5 in doubles for the Trojans.
For a complete list of seeded players and updated men’s and women’s singles draws, go to: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=162217
Matches will begin each day at 9 a.m. (PDT) from Wednesday, June 1 through Saturday, June 4. The men’s and women’s singles finals are slated for noon on Sunday, June 5. Admission for spectators is free and open to the public. On-site parking is free. All draws will have consolation events.
The winners of each division of the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships will be awarded a USTA gold ball, while the runner-up will be awarded a USTA silver ball. There will also be a 3rd/4th place playoff for the USTA bronze ball. Prize money will be distributed to both finalists as well as third and fourth place finishers in each division.
The men’s singles champion will receive a wild card into the qualifying draw for this year’s USTA Men’s $10K Pro Futures tournament in Laguna Niguel, Calif., while the women’s singles champion will earn a qualifying wild card for next year’s $25,000 Morgan Run Women’s Open at Morgan Run Club & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe.
The USTA National Open Hard Court Championships, which was voted, “2011 Tournament of the Year” by the San Diego District Tennis Association, has had several distinguished participants in past events. Current American men’s tennis star Jack Sock, who is currently No. 25 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings (as of 5/16/16), won the tournament singles title in 2010. Coco Vandeweghe, a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon last year, earned a USTA bronze ball at the 2007 Hard Court Championships. Former WTA touring professionals Gretchen Rush and Ros Nideffer won the Women’s Open Doubles title seven times and Alison Bradshaw won the singles title in 2007.
USTA National Open Hard Court Championships Balboa Tennis Club San Diego, Calif. Tuesday’s ResultsMen’s Singles Second Round
Emmanuel Mensah (1), San Diego, def. Luis Argote, San Diego, 6-4, 6-0
Nicholas Kamisar (2), Sammamish, Wash., def. Alan Pleat, Roslyn, N.Y., 6-1, 6-2
Brian Battistone (6), Las Vegas, def. Christopher Dalton, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., 6-3, 6-1
Derek Miller (9), San Diego, def. Logan Powell, Amarillo, Texas, 6-3, 6-4
Ignacio Martinez, Weston, Fla., def. Tyler Baird, Corona Del Mar, Calif., 6-0, 6-1
Stefan Menichella (8), Santa Barbara, Calif., def. Ross Killingbeck, Del Mar, 6-0, 6-0
Jared Thompkins (9), San Diego, def. Derek James, Phoenix, 6-1, 6-1
Francis Filipovich, San Diego, def. Chris Palacio, El Centro, Calif., 6-0, 6-0
Ryan Seggerman (7), Coronado, def. Ahmed Essaiydy, Phoenix, 6-0, 6-1
Teo Ortuno, San Diego, def. Michael Espinosa, San Diego, 6-0, 6-0
Srikar Kuchibhotla, Mason, Ohio, def. Antonio Zuazo, San Diego, 6-1, 6-2
Warren Race, Dallas, def. German Ziella, San Diego, 6-0, 6-0
Jamie Vance (9), Henderson, Nev., def. Ryan Ray, San Diego, 6-3, 6-2
Ryan Stanbury, Los Angeles, def. Spencer Warren, Escondido, 6-2, 6-0
Xavier Smith (9), Chula Vista, def. Danny Ballez, Chula Vista,6-3, 6-1
Thomas Tomczak, Glendale, N.Y., def. Matthew Miller, San Diego, 6-4, 6-1
Alan Chang, Rancho Santa Fe, def. Tristen Shaw, San Diego, 6-1, 6-4
Ryan Kreis, Hoffman Estates, Ill., def. James Han, Mountain View, Calif., 6-0, 6-1
Jack Vance, Henderson, Nev., def. Ivan Smith, Chula Vista, 7-6 (0), 6-3
Andy Chang, Rancho Santa Fe, def. Ryan Torio, Chula Vista, 6-3, 6-2
Jason Welborn, San Diego, def. Xavier Granja, San Diego, 6-0, 6-2
Brendan McClain (9), Ventura, Calif., def. Rand Hogen, La Jolla, 6-0, 6-0
Saxon Buehning (5), Essex Fells, N.J., def. Dimitri Doan, Corona, Calif., 6-0, 6-0
David Goulak (9), Oak Park, Calif., def. Jason Pongsrikul, San Diego, 6-0, 4-0, ret. (injury)
Vidith Huot, Providence, R.I., def. Dion Earl, Mesa, Ariz., withdrew (injury)