GODFREY – The University of Tulsa’s Spencer Papa defeated No. 3 Noah Rubin Tuesday morning during the first day of main draw in the 17th Annual Lewis and Clark Community College Men’s Pro Tennis Classic, a USTA Men’s Pro Circuit Futures $10K tournament.
Rubin started off strong winning the first set 6-2. Papa fought back to win the second set 7-5 and the third set 6-1.
Rubin, 18, of Long Island, New York, has a world ranking of No. 532 and was runner up of last year’s Lewis and Clark Futures tournament. He won the Wimbledon Boys Juniors Championship a few weeks ago — the first time an American has won the title since 2007.
Papa, who is ranked No. 965, made it to the quarterfinals in last week’s Tulsa Futures tournament losing 7-5, 7-5 to No. 1 Liam Brody who has a No. 382 world ranking.
Brody, 20, of Stockport, England, finished his last junior year as British No. 1, and reached the Junior Wimbledon Final in 2011.
Brody lost the final round of the Tulsa Futures tournament 6-2, 6-1 this past Sunday to unseeded American Mitchell Frank, a University of Virginia junior who recently was ranked No. 10 nationally by the NCAA.
Frank will again face No. 1 Brody on Wednesday not before 10 a.m. for a chance to move forward in the L&C Futures.
Also playing Wednesday are No. 2 Marcelo Arevalo, of Spain, who is ranked No. 473, No. 5 Ernesto Escobedo, No. 6 Sebastian Boltz, No. 7 Jeff Dadamo, and No. 8 Daniel Nguyen.
St. Louisan Blake Strode and Eduardo Nava drew lucky losers spots and will play Wednesday, as will qualifiers Ronnie Schneider, Nick Chappell, Yuanfeng Li, Winston Lin, Brett Clark, Elliott Orkin, Maxx Lipman and Mac Styslinger.
University of Illinois players Tim Kopinski, Julian Allen Childers and Fares Gosea also have matches Wednesday.
Others playing Wednesday include Alex Blumenburg, Andre Dome, Quinton Vega, Martin Redlicki, Arthur Surreaux, and Jeremy Efferding.
In doubles action Tuesday, former Lewis and Clark Community College tennis player Quinton Argent and Eastern Illinois tennis alum Ben Thompson, of South Holland, Illinois, competed in a Futures doubles match together for the first time.
“We were very nervous in the first set, but finally settled down and made some good points in the second set,” said Argent, 20, of Ravenshoe, Australia.
Thompson said he enjoyed the competition even if it meant losing 6-2, 6-2 to Americans Cameron Silverman, an Elon University standout, and Quinton Vega, a former player for the University of Wisconsin.
“This was a lot of fun and I thought we did well against very talented opponents.”
Main draw singles play will continue with thirteen matches Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. and doubles quarterfinal matches will start not before 1 p.m. the Andy Simpson Tennis Complex.