If the past two champions of the Costa Mesa Pro Classic are an indication of what the event has to offer then the upcoming tennis tournament should be exciting and worth watching.
The Costa Mesa Pro Classic will do its best to spotlight some of the brightest names in the future of the sport.
The classic, the second United States Pro Circuit Event in Costa Mesa this year, begins Sept. 14 at the Costa Mesa Tennis Center. The event is free and open to the public.
In April, 26-year-old Brian Baker, the No. 8 seed, won the Costa Mesa Pro Classic in dominating fashion. The win launched Baker to considerable success. He earned a wild-card selection in the French Open, losing in the first round. But he also qualified for Wimbledon, advancing to the fourth round. That elevated his world ranking to 70, and put him in the U.S. Open, where he won his first-round match Aug. 29.
He lost to No. 8 seed Janko Tipsarevic in the second round.
Last year's Costa Mesa Classic, held in September, was won by Orange native and current USC standout Steve Johnson. He also competed in the U.S. Open and won his first match Aug. 29. He reached the third round after beating Latvia's Ernest Gulbis in the second round.
Richard Gasquet beat Johnson 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-3 in the third round.
"Our event this time around is a bit special because you can watch two past champions compete on TV and then come out and see players who will try to duplicate their success a few days later," said Hank Lloyd, tournament director. "We can't promise that every one of our winners will duplicate the success as quickly as those two, but when you consider that our field attracts some of the most promising American and international players, you never know."'
Part of the USTA's Pro Circuit, the $10,000 event will feature 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams. All players are seeking to boost their world tennis ranking through participating in USTA Pro Circuit events held weekly across the country.
Eighteen nationally-ranked players have already qualified. The top-ranked player is Germany's Alex Bognavoic, ranked 311th in the world. The highest ranked American player is Downey's Daniel Kosawaski, currently No. 372. Other Southern California players who have qualified include: Bradley Klahn of Poway (ranked 489th), Nicolas Meister of Trabuco Canyon (577), and Jason Jung of Torrance (624).
The rest of the 32-player field will come from singles qualifying, which beings Sept. 14.
Singles and doubles main draw begins Sept. 18. The finals for both singles and doubles are Sept. 23.
Additionally, a wild-card shoot-out event will be held Sept. 13, for one spot in the final draw.
— From staff reports