GODFREY – Five top seeded players are still in the race for the final spots in the main draw of the 17th Annual Lewis and Clark Community College Men’s Pro Tennis Classic, a USTA Men’s Pro Circuit Futures event.
Sixteen men will compete for eight main draw spots tomorrow starting at 9 a.m. at the Andy Simpson Tennis Complex.
On Sunday, No. 1 Eduardo Nava, 17, of Woodland Hills, California, defeated Srikar Alla, of India, 6-4, 6-0 — securing his place in the final round of qualifying.
Nava will face American Brett Clark, a high-ranked player from the University of North Carolina.
No. 3 Ronnie Schneider, of Bloomington, Indiana, defeated Toshiki Matsuya, of Japan, and will face American and Clemson University’s Austin Ansari.
Schneider is a top-ranked freshman at the University of North Carolina. Matsuya is an incoming freshman at the University of Illinois.
American No. 4 Nick Chappell, a standout player at Texas Christian University, will play American and Wake Forest player Anthony Delcore.
No. 5 American Winston Lin, a senior at Columbia University, will play Andrew Goodwin, a junior at the University of Alabama.
Lin was an All-American, Ivy League Player of the Year and finished the season No. 17 in the nation.
Goodwin played two seasons at Southern Miss before joining the Crimson Tide. He led Southern Miss in singles and doubles wins and posted a freshman record of 22-7.
St. Louisan Blake Strode will play American Mac Styslinger, a Second Team All American at the University of Virginia.
No. 7 Yuanfeng Li of China, will play Jarryd Chaplin, of Australia, and Americans Strong Kirchheimer, a standout Northwestern freshman, and Maxx Lipman, a top University of Florida player, also will play not before 10.
Nava is the highest ranked qualifier at No. 1145 and just finished playing three Futures tournaments in Spain.
For Nava and others, this year’s Lewis and Clark tournament is a family affair. His mother, Xochitl (Esponedo) Nava, played tennis for Mexico in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 284 before retiring.
Nava’s younger brother, Emilio, 12, is a rising seventh grader with a 35-10 record. He has been supporting Eduardo from the stands each day, but just last week, he was competing in the USTA Boys' 12s National Clay Court Championships in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
The Nava family’s cousin, Ernesto Escobedo, who has a ranking of No. 582, also will be competing in the main draw of the tournament.
“We are a tennis family and my mom has been our coach since we were little,” Eduardo Nava said. “I am happy about today’s win and am ready to compete in the final round of qualifying.”
Also competing in this year’s qualifying rounds were brothers Andy and Brian Page of Wheaton, Illinois. Brian is a sophomore who plays for the University of Illinois, and Andy is a rising senior who is playing in his second Futures tournament.
“Playing in the qualifying rounds was a good experience,” Brian Page said. “Although my brother and I are out, we have learned a lot from this and continue to improve our games.”
Twin brothers Arnav and Arsav Mohanty, 20, did not make it through the qualifying rounds, but hope play in the doubles rounds.
“This has been a great experience for my sons,” Monalisa Mohanty said. “It is our first time at this tournament and everyone has been kind and the facilities are wonderful. We are very proud of our boys. They are self-taught and have worked hard to play at this level.”