Oct. 31, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Seniors J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) have advanced through qualifying, earning spots in the main draw of the 2016 Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger event taking place this week (Oct. 29- Nov. 6) at The Boar’s Head Sports Club.
Four other Cavaliers also competed in the qualifying tournament, trying to earn one of the four available slots in the singles main draw. Aragone and redshirt freshman Aswin Lizen (Douglas, Isle of Man) faced one another in the first round of the 32-player qualifying tournament, with Aragone coming up with a 6-3, 6-3 victory. In the second round, Aragone downed Luke Bambridge, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. In the final, Aragone won his first set 6-3 over Dominik Koepfer and then took the second in a tiebreaker, edging Koepfer 9-7, to advance to the main draw.
In the first round, senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) dropped his first set 7-6 (4) against Rhyne Williams, but rebounded with 6-3 and 6-1 victories in the final two sets to advance to the second round. Kwiatkowski is currently ranked No. 684 while Williams is 598. Kwiatkowski defeated Mikelis Libetis, who is currently ranked No. 357, 6-2, 6-3 in a second-round match on Sunday. In the qualifying final, Kwiatkowski downed Takanyi Garanganga in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
Junior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) battled Dominik Koepfer in the first round. Wiersholm staved off multiple break points in the finale of the first set to hold serve and win 6-1. In the second set, the two battled to a 6-6 deadlock with Koepfer coming out ahead, 7-4, in the tiebreaker. Koepfer took the third set, 6-3, to advance to the second round. Wiersholm has a current ATP ranking of 847 while Koepfer is ranked 848.
Freshman Ammar Alhogbani (Alexandria, Va.) battled in his first-round match, but was edged by Jarryd Chaplin, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Senior Luca Corinteli (Alexandria, Va.) was slated to face Jonathan Ho, but Corinteli was a late scratch, giving Ho the walkover into the second round.
The Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger was first held in 2009 and is the first of three consecutive indoor hard court USTA Pro Circuit events held as part of the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge. The tournament is organized by The Boar’s Head Sports Club, with proceeds benefiting Special Olympics Virginia.
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 37 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. John Isner, Maria Sharapova, Sam Querrey, Sloane Stephens, Kei Nishikori, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.