LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sunday marked the second round of qualification for the men’s draw in the 2018 Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, as the field of 32 is almost now set for the bracket to the title. Also on Sunday, the women’s singles qualification matches got underway with most of the top seeds advancing past the opening round at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington.
The morning session saw Mikael Torpegaard (DEN) eek past Jesse Witten (USA) in three sets to open the day on the main stadium court. Torpegaard took the first set with little resistance, before Witten buckled down and evened the match at a set a piece to force a third and decisive set in the first match of the day. Torpegaard got an early break, but Witten evened it up at 2-2, where the two would trade service holds until 5-5. After getting ahead 15-40, Torpegaard capitalized on a Witten mistake down the line and served out the match after breaking to book his spot in the qualification finals.
America’s Alex Rybakov (USA) won the other three-set match of the day on the men’s side, coming from a set down to beat Strong Kirchheimer (USA) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. Rybakov played his best tennis of the match in the third set, got ahead an early break and saw the match out on his serve to move his way into the qualification finals.
Local favorite and Notre Dame commit Matt Halpin (USA) served for the first set against second-seeded Karue Bell (BRA), but lost his serve and then was broken to lose the first set. Bell served out the match 6-1 in the second set to punch his ticket into the third round of qualification action.
Jeffrey John Wolf (USA), Thomas Fancutt (AUS) and Ruan Roelofse (RSA) all won in the early afternoon slate of matches with straight-set wins.
On the women’s side of things, Great Britain’s Emily Webley-Smith (GBR) looked solid in victory on Sunday with a straightforward 6-2, 7-5 decision over Kylie Collins (USA) as the temperatures started to pick up in Lexington. Top-seeded Allison Bai (AUS) cruised her way into the next round of qualifying with a 6-2, 6-0 win over [WC] Lauren Waddles (USA).
Kentucky Wildcat [WC] Anastasia Tkachenko (USA) got a big win on her home courts over Anna Baranovski (USA) 6-4, 6-2 to book her spot in the second round of qualification play Sunday afternoon. She got ahead early in both sets with key breaks of serve and was able to consolidate them all the way through the end of the match.
Second-seeded Madison Inglis (AUS) was a straight-sets winner over Ashley Weinhold (USA) as all eight seeded players in the women’s qualifying draw advanced into Monday’s play.
Play at the Boone Tennis Center continues all week with main draw action kicking off on Monday morning at 9 a.m. ET.
The night session will begin at 7 p.m. ET as part of Latino Night at the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships. There will be a tennis clinic for families that runs from 6:30-8 p.m. ET as well as food trucks, as part of the week-long food truck stops.
There will also be an on-court ceremony for Braidy Industries Ashland Classic and the authors of their tournament.