Taino Qualifies For Calabasas Challenger Main
Draw; Chang to Play First Round Match Tuesday Afternoon
By Fred Sidhu
Calabasas, Ca. – Eric Taino, who
won a USTA Challenger in Tarzana on Sunday, qualified for the USTA
Challenger of Calabasas at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center, as he
defeated Fresno’s Robert Kendrick, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (4) in the final
round of qualifying.
Taino, who also had to qualify for
the main draw in Tarzana, played in both USTA Challenger tennis events
at the same time.
Last Saturday, after eliminating
Germany’s Bjorn Phau 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the Tarzana semifinals, he
made his way to nearby Calabasas and won his first qualifying match over
Levar Harper-Griffith, 6-3, 6-3.
On Sunday, after defeating Brian
Vahaly of Atlanta, 6-2, 7-6 (6) to win the Tarzana title, Taino once
again went to Calabasas where he outlasted Yugoslavia’s Dusan Vemic,
4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) in a second round qualifying match.
“I’m starting to feel it now.
My legs are a little tired and my arm is a little dead,” Taino said
after his victory over Kendrick.
Despite playing five matches in
the last three days, Taino remained upbeat. “I can still play. I
don’t think my fitness will be the reason I’ll win or lose right
Taino, who lives in West
Hollywood, added, “I’ve had a lot of long matches. I’ve remained
pretty calm and focused on the big points. I’m just match tough.”
He moves on to the main draw where
he will face sixth-seeded Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark in the first round.
In first round action in the main
draw, second-seeded Vince Spadea defeated Cyril Saulnier of France, 6-4,
6-4 and fifth-seeded Cecil Mamiit led Great Britian’s Jamie Delgado
5-0 in the first set when Delgado retired due to neck pain.
Michael Chang, a former French
Open champion, will play his first round match on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
against Arvind Parmar of Great Britian. Chang is the tournament’s top
Admission is free through
Thursday’s day session. Tickets for Thursday night’s Pro/Celebrity
Exhibition are $12. Tickets Friday through Sunday are $8 - $12. Children
under 18 will be admitted for $5 Friday through Sunday. For ticket
information, call (818) 222-2782.
All tournament sessions through
Thursday begin at 10 a.m. Friday’s quarterfinals begin at 11 a.m.
Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s final, begin at noon.
USTA Challenger of Calabasas is a $50,000 Challenger event. The
tournament is part of the United States Tennis Association Professional