Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Aussie qualies to begin; Brooksby, 16, in 25K main draw

Dennis Novikov serves in the first round of doubles
at the U.S. Open last September. Novikov and fellow
American Denis Kudla lost to Robin Haase of the
Netherlands and Artem Sitak, a Russia native who
plays for New Zealand. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Two men with Northern California ties are scheduled to play seeds today in the first round of qualifying for the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   Dennis Novikov of Milpitas in the San Francisco Bay Area will meet No. 14 Tobias Kamke of Germany, and former Stanford star Bradley Klahn will face No. 31 Thomas Fabbiano of Italy.
   Kamke, only 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters), also has a NorCal connection. He won the 2010 Tiburon Challenger.
   Klahn, a 26-year-old left-hander from the San Diego suburb of Poway, returned to competition in November after missing almost two years with injuries. He underwent his second operation for a herniated disc in his back in February 2015.
   Ranked as high as No. 63 in March 2014, Klahn has tumbled to No. 855. Novikov, a 23-year-old Moscow native who starred at UCLA, is ranked No. 148.
   Men's qualifying begins today at 3 p.m. (PST), women's qualifying starts on  Wednesday, and the main draw opens on Sunday.
   Brooksby, 16, qualifies -- Jenson Brooksby, 16, of Carmichael in the Sacramento area defeated Thibault Forget (pronounced For-ZHAY), a USC junior from France, 7-6 (2), 6-0 on Monday to qualify for the Legends $25K Tennis Tournament in Long Beach, Calif.
   Brooksby, the runner-up in the USTA national hard court and clay court 16s last summer, is scheduled to meet another American qualifier, 22-year-old Mico Santiago, on Wednesday.
   Brooksby will play in the main draw of an ITF Pro Circuit tournament for the second time. He lost to Connor Farren, a former USC standout from Hillsborough in the Bay Area, in the first round of the $25,000 Berkeley Futures last October.
   Forget's father, Guy (pronounced Ghee), reached No. 4 in the world in singles in 1991 and No. 3 in doubles in 1986. He helped France win two Davis Cup titles and served as the team captain (coach) from 1999 to 2012.
   The Long Beach main draw features two other NorCal products. No. 4 seed Mackenzie McDonald, a Berkeley native who grew up in Piedmont, will face qualifier J.C. Aragone, a senior at two-time defending NCAA champion Virginia from Yorba Linda in the Los Angeles region.
   McDonald, also 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters), won the title in last week's USC/Los Angeles $25,000 Tennis Tournament.
   Wild card Collin Altamirano of Sacramento will take on No. 8 seed Dennis Nevolo from Gurnee, Ill. Altamirano, a junior at Virginia, reached the quarterfinals in Los Angeles last week.
   Altamirano and Brooksby -- the USTA boys 18 and 12 national champions, respectively, in 2013 -- train at the JMG Tennis Academy at the Arden Hills Resort & Spa in Sacramento. It's highly unlikely, but they could meet in the Long Beach quarterfinals.

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