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Seeded players fall on third day of Tallahassee Challenger

Courtesy: USTA.com

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Wednesday was not kind to the seeded players at the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger Presented by Comcast at Forest Meadows, with three of the top eight falling in the second round.

Fans who showed up early were treated to the first upset, as South Korea’s Kyu Tae Im defeated No. 3 seed Kevin Kim in straight sets. The first set went to a tiebreaker and with both players getting opportunities to take the set. At 8-8, Im won the last two points to earn the first set. In the second set, the sixth-seeded American was broken at 3-2 and never recovered, as Im advanced to the quarterfinals, 7-6 (8), 6-2.

Boca Raton, Fla., native Vince Spadea was the next victim of an upset, dropping in straight sets to Prakash Amritraj. On serve at 4-4, Amritraj broke the No. 4 seed and held to take the first set, 6-4. Amritraj then cruised in the second set, 6-1, to move into the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-1.

No. 7 seed John Isner had to win a pair of matches to advance to the quarterfinals on Wednesday. In a suspended match from Tuesday, the former All-American from Georgia defeated Scoville Jenkins, 6-4, 6-1. Tied 4-4 in the first, Isner got a break off of Jenkins and then won seven out of the last eight games for the win.

“I was fortunate to get through my first match pretty quickly,” Isner said. “I definitely did not expect to win that way, so it was really like an extended warm-up.”

In his second match of the day, the Greensboro, N.C., native cruised through his first set, 6-1, against Sweden’s Bjorn Rehnquist. The match stayed on serve until 6-5, when Rehnquist had two set points against Isner. However, the big-serving right-hander pulled out four big serves in a row to send the set to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreak, Isner earned a mini-break at 4-4 and served out the match, 6-1, 7-6 (4).

“Bjorn makes you run and play a lot of balls, and I’m glad I finished it in two sets because I did not want to play a third,” Isner said.  “[My serve] is the best part of my game, and when my back is against the wall, I count on my serve to get me out of trouble, and it did today.”

After defeating No. 1 seed and defending tournament champion Bobby Reynolds on Tuesday, American Ryan Sweeting had his hands full with Florida State junior Jean-Yves Aubone. Sweeting won the first set, 6-4, but after breaking Aubone in the second set to get back on serve, he double-faulted three consecutive times to send the match to a third set. Sweeting was able to break Aubone in the first game of the set and was never threatened, as he advanced to the quarterfinals, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Sweeting will play Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke, who outlasted Aussie Carsten Ball in three sets. Udomchoke won the first set, 6-4, and Ball used a late break to take the second set, 6-3. In the third, Udomchoke was the fresher player, winning, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

In the evening’s feature singles match, American Donald Young defeated sixth-seed Go Soeda in straight sets. Young capitalized on his fifth set point of the first set to take it, 6-2, and then got an early break to cruise to the 6-2, 6-3 victory and a match with Im in the quarters.

The final quarterfinal match will feature No. 2 seed Robert Kendrick, who defeated qualifier Jesse Witten, 6-3, 7-5, and Marinko Matosevic, who defeated Martin Fischer, 7-6 (8), 6-2.

Thursday’s feature match will be the seventh-seed Isner vs. Amritraj. For updated draws and order of play for Wednesday, click hereor log on to www.tallahasseechallenger.com.