Day 3 at the USTA $50,000 Calabasas Pro Challenger

Lester Cook

Photo by Adam Davis

CALABASAS - It looked like Lester Cook’s magical run at the USTA $50,000 Calabasas Pro Challenger was going to continue Wednesday after the first set, a tense back-and-forth set eventually won by Cook 7-6 (10-8). But Germany’s Simon Stadler proved too tough for Cook in the end, beating the wild-card entry 6-3, 6-4 in the second and third sets to move on to the quarterfinals at the event being played at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.

Cook, who grew up in nearby Woodland Hills just eight miles from the club, also received a wild-card entry in the doubles competition and picked up a win there Wednesday along with partner Shane La Porte. The pair beat Patrick Briaud and Izak Van Der Merwe, 6-3, 6-4, to move into the second round.

Former Camarillo resident Travis Rettenmaier and partner Alex Bogomolov Jr. downed the Serbian pair of Ilia Bozoljac and Dusan Vemic to advance, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Two others with local ties also won first-round matches in doubles. Stephen Amritraj, who grew up in Encino, and partner Adam Davidson upset the No. 1 seeds Bobby Reynolds and Rajeev Ram, 6-3, 6-4. Amritraj and Davidson didn’t even qualify for the main event and were inserted into the draw only after Jaime Baker and Jan-Michael Gambill were forced to retire because of an injury to Gambill in singles play Tuesday.

Before he was upset in doubles, Reynolds continued his solid play with another straight-set victory in singles, this time beating fellow American Brendan Evans in the second round, 6-3, 6-3. Reynolds played in three of the four Grand Slams this year, losing in the first round at Australia, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Overall, he’s happy with the year he’s had. “I was at around 200 (in the world rankings) at the start of the year so if you had told me I would be where I’m at now by the end of the year, I would have never guessed it,” he said. Reynolds is currently seeded third at Calabasas and sits at No. 117 in the world. “I’m closing in on Top 100 so I’m happy with where I’m at.”

Reynolds is also currently the leading money winner on the USTA Pro Circuit with earning of $42,975. Reynolds lives near Atlanta and spends time in Charleston, S.C., as well. “My fiancé is there so I do spend time there training,” he said. And when is the wedding? “Not till December of 2008. So I still have some time.”

Bobby Reynolds, United States (3), def. Brendan Evans, United States, 6-3, 6-3
Simon Stadler, Germany, def. Lester Cook, United States, 6-7 (8), 6-3, 6-4
Robert Kendrick, United States (1), def. Benedikt Dorsch, Germany, 6-4, 6-4
John Isner, United States, def. Luka Gregorc, Slovakia, 7-6 (6), 6-4

Alex Bogomolov Jr., United States-Travis Rettenmaier, United States, def. Ilia Bozoljac, Serbia,-Dusan Vemic, Serbia, 7-6 (5), 6-4
Lester Cook, United States-Shane LaPorte, United States def. Patrick Briaud, United States vs. Izak Van Der Merwe, South Africa, 6-3, 6-4
Brendan Evans, United States-Jesse Witten, United States, def. Brian Battistone, United States-Dann Battistone, United States, 7-5, 6-3
Robert Kendrick, United States-Cecil Mamiit, Phillipines (4), def. Kevin Anderson, South Africa-Ryler DeHeart, United States, 6-4, 6-7 (8), 10-6
Stephen Amritraj, India-Adam Davidson, United States, def. Rajeev Ram, United States-Bobby Reynolds, United States (1), 6-3, 6-4


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