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Tiburon Challenger

A Men's Pro Circuit Tennis Event

Address: 1600 Mar West Street
Tiburon, CA 94920
Phone: 415-789-7900

$100,000 Wells Fargo Tiburon Challenger

Saturday, September 23 to Sunday, October 1, 2016


Wells Fargo's iconic stage coach will be at the Tiburon Peninsula Club during the Tiburon Challenger, from Friday, September 29, to Sunday, October 1. Take a selfie or two and see what banking, transportation and coast-to-coast communication was like way back when.

# stagecoach   #wellsfargo





Finals Sunday

Darian King, winner of the men's singles in the Tiburon Challenger, thanks everyone for the opportunity, after receiving a check from Ashoo Vaid, President North Bay Market of Wells Fargo Bank (center) and tournament director Brendan Curry. (Photo: Getty Images for Revd)

Darian King, 24, of Barbados, took the top spot at the Tiburon Challenger after prevailing over American Michael Mmoh, 18, in two sets. "Well done, Darian," said tournament director Brendan Curry, who congratulated King for steady tennis the entire week.

"I'd like to commend Mike for having a great week," said King, who thanked everyone involved in the tournament's organization and expressed appreciation for the hospitality. "I'm from a small island, where this never really happens. I hope to be back next year," he said.


Day Eight

Brendan's Notes, Saturday, October 1

We could not have asked for a more exciting day's tennis than what was on display on Semifinals Saturday here in Tiburon. First up were the two unseeded pairs of Quentin Halys/Dennis Novikov and wild cards Mitchell Krueger/Sekou Bangoura. Krueger/Bangoura won the first set in a close tiebreaker, but their opponents steadied themselves, taking the second set and third set super tiebreak to secure their spot in the finals tomorrow.

Next up was a wonderful Special Olympics tennis demonstration including two local players, Patrick and Tyler, who teamed up with the very gracious doubles team of Julio Peralta and Marcelo Arevalo in a most entertaining super tiebreaker. It was great to see these two pros, Tiburon Challenger Doubles No. 1 seeds, giving back to the sport and helping inspire these Special Olympics players.

The stage was now set for the first semifinal singles match of the day, as local favorite 21-year-old Mackie McDonald took on 24-year-old Darian King (right) from Barbados in a match of ups and downs. Mackenzie was looking dominant at 4-1 up in the second set after winning the first. However, the ever-steady King hung in there and was able to swing the momentum in his favor. Mackie, in front of a packed house, had his chances serving for the match in the second and third sets, but it was not to be his day as King reigned supreme, finally winning 4-6 7-5 7-5.

In the second semifinal of the day Tim Smyzcek got off to a strong start, taking the first set from American next-gen player Michael Mmoh (right) without too much resistance. Mmoh qualified here in Tiburon this year, and it looked like he had met his match against the experience of Smyczek. However, Mmoh hung in there and kept his cool as he’s done all week. He got some traction early on in the second set, and as his form continued to improve, he ended up taking the second set 6 games to 3. The crowd had already been treated to an incredible first semis, and this was turning into a battle royale. Both players were putting on a show of athleticism that kept the crowd on their feet late into the afternoon. Mmoh served for the match late in the third but could not convert. The experience of Smyczek looked to be the deciding factor as he went on the offensive. But Mmoh’s amazing defensive skills coupled with calm demeanor and calculated aggression saw him push the match to a third set tiebreak.

Huge serving and steely nerves made the difference  and Mmoh was able to win 8 points to 6. The spectators were going nuts, as they should have been, being treated to this awesome display of world-class tennis in the most intimate of arenas. A well-deserved win for Mmoh, and everyone is looking forward to an epic final tomorrow.


Day Seven

Emerging talent was predominant in the singles quarterfinals on Friday, as Qualifier Michael Mmoh, wild card Mackenzie McDonald (left) and Darian King dispatched seeded players to snare spots in Saturday's semifinals, along with the Challenger's defending champion, Tim Smyczek. See the day's order of play below, and get ready for some great tennis!

Can't make it in person? See live streaming of the tournament at www.procircuit.usta.com.


Day Six


Brendan's Notes, Thursday, September 30

Tiburon got off to a cool start with fog and a little wind chill factor early on; however, the first two singles matches certainly helped to get the atmosphere warmed up. First, No. 5-seeded Dennis Novikov dispatched wild card Brian Baker with a convincing 6-1 third set victory, and then Mackie McDonald beat Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso 7/6 (3) 6/3 to move into the final eight. He will go on to face American 4th seed Francis Tiafoe. This is set to be a show down not to be missed between two amazing athletes in great form.

Unfortunately, No.1-seeded Benjamin Becker was forced to retire in the third set versus Darian King (photo at left) today. Becker took a medical time out after losing the second set and never quite recovered. A pectoral injury saw him exit the Tiburon Challenger, and we wish him the best for a speedy recovery.
Defending champion Tim Smyzcek will be playing tomorrow versus fellow American Mitchell Krueger who beat Frenchman Quentin Halys 6/4 6/4 yesterday. Also on stadium court will be qualifier Michael Mmoh versus no. 2-seeded Bjorn Fratangelo.


Day Five

Brendan's Notes, Wednesday, September 28

The third day of the main draw saw the temperatures drop by about 10 degrees, but by no means was the tennis cooling off. Quite the contrary, we had absolute fireworks in the doubles today with the duo of Frances Tiafoe and Darian King putting on quite the show against Polansky and Bester, finalists in last week’s Columbus Challenger. Tiafoe/King won the first set 7/6 (2) and then at 6 games apiece in the second set, the highlight match of the tournament so far started taking shape.

At set point down in the tiebreaker, Tiafoe hit the fastest return of serve I have ever seen in my life — a 122 mph first serve right through the middle of his opponents, leaving them standing and staring in disbelief. Bester /Polansky ended up winning the second set tiebreak 20-18 after a most entertaining series of points.

Tiafoe and King overcame an early 4-1 deficit in the super breaker to take it 10 points to 8. It was an amazing display of shot-making from both teams and an incredible crowd pleaser.
No. 2 seed Fratangelo had a fairly routine victory against De Loore while Tim Smyzcek had a much bigger task at hand against the huge serving Sam Groth. Aussie favorite Sam lost a close first set seven games to five. The second set went on serve all the way to a tiebreak, where Sam saw himself with three consecutive set points in hand at 6-3. Tim remained steady. making Sam come up with the goods to seal the set and force a third; however, Sam came up a little short, losing the breaker 10-8 in yet another spectacular late-afternoon match.

The No. 1 seeded doubles pairing of Juan Peralta and Marcello Arevalo took just two sets and under an hour to dispatch  2016 Junior Wimbledon Singles Champion Denis Shapovalov and American up-and-comer Tommy Paul in our feature doubles match. Photo: Tommy Paul (back) and Denis Shapovolov
Tomorrow we’ll be in for a treat right off the bat with wild card Brian Baker taking on No. 5 seed Dennis Novikov. This match will start at 11 a.m., and we are in for some serious ball striking from two of the tournament's biggest hitters.
Tournament wild card and local favorite Mackie McDonald takes on qualifier Salvatore Caruso from Italy, also at 11 a.m. Look out for these two to put on a show of balance and poise in a match that is sure to delight the senses.
Day five of the Tiburon Challenger is going to be an inspiring one.


Day Four

Players enjoyed a bay cruise aboard the Emrys on Tuesday evening,
thanks to the generosity of Trish and Karl Jacob


Day Three

Brendan's Notes, Monday, September 26

Record crowds for the first day of main draw got to enjoy scintillating tennis in the most perfect tennis conditions possible. First up was Junior Wimbledon Champion Denis Shapovalov verses American Michael Mmoh, with Mmoh coming out on top to earn himself a spot in the main draw. Second-seeded Fratangelo overcame American up-and-comer and USTA tournament wild card Noah Rubin in three sets. Francis Tiafoe, seeded fourth, also took three sets to dispatch another American player Alexander Sarkissian.
Blaz Rola and Grega Zemlja got the better of David O’Hare and Joe Salisbury in the final round of doubles qualifying this evening. O’Hare and Salisbury had their chances in the second set, being up a service break on two occasions, but could not convert.
We’ll be off to the races at 10 a.m. tomorrow with Brian Baker verses Austin Krajicek. There is no doubt this will prove to be one of the matches of the day. Tomorrow's feature match at 3 p.m. is sure to be a humdinger with Germany’s Benjamin Becker, our No.1 seed, facing off against American Tommy Paul.
Come on out and enjoy the action.


Special Seating for Finals Sunday

The Tiburon Challenger has a new VIP platform, and time is running out to get tickets for the prime seating for the finals on Sunday, October 2. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales benefits USTA NorCal Foundation so you'll get exclusive seating and support USTA NorCal's outreach programs at the same time.

Act now. Revd lets fans set ticket prices. To get yours, click on http://bit.ly/revd-tpc-usta-pc-2016tc.


Day Two

Brendan's Notes, Sunday, September 25, 2016

Blue skies, sweltering temperatures, world-class tennis players doing battle right here at the Tiburon Peninsula Club, all vying for their spot in the main draw of this elite $100,000 ATP Challenger Tour event. This is what Day 2 of the Tiburon Challenger delivered. Round two of qualifying saw  2016 Junior Wimbledon Champion Denis Shapovolov, of Canada, right the ship after losing the first set to local Cal Berkeley’s Andre Goransson. Filip Bergevi, the second Cal Berkeley wild card in the qualifying event went down in two tough sets against Emilio Gomez, son of famous tennis star Andres Gomez from Ecuador. Tom Fawcett, Stanford number-one player put up a good fight against Italian Salvatore Caruso, but went down in straight sets.
Match of the day has to go to American up and comer, Michael Mmoh, who won his match against the huge heart of Erik Crepaldi. This match could have gone either way, but Mmoh held on to win 11-9 in the third set tiebreaker.


Day One

Brendan's Notes, Saturday, September 24, 2016

Here are tournament director Brendan Curry's highlights of the first day of play.

Our first day of the 2016 Tiburon Challenger was exactly what we were hoping for. Beautiful weather, incredible tennis, excited fans and volunteers, including many ball kids and adults doing a wonderful job on and off the courts.
The new look and feel to the Tiburon Challenger is surely creating a huge buzz around the event. With upgraded VIP seating and canopy shaded boxes, our truly wonderful sponsors are in for a treat like never before. The ‘Sky Boxes’ on the east side of the court are creating a stir, and so they should with this amazing project coming together smoothly on this first day of the Tiburon Challenger.
Tennis was of the highest order right out of the blocks with matches starting at 10 a.m. and finishing around 5:45 p.m. Cal Berkeley wild cards Filip Bergevi and Andre Goransson both advanced, as did Stanford No.1 Tom Fawcett. Andre beat another qualifying wildcard in Perry Gregg. Gregg, the youngest player in the draw, played a strong match before going down in straight sets, but make no mistake, we’re sure to see more of him in the future.
Bergevi fought off a first set loss to advance in three. Tomorrow [Sunday], Goransson will face off against the 2016 Junior Wimbledon Champion Denis Shapovalov, which is set to be one of the matches of the day.
Kids day was a great success, with 35 junior players enjoying a couple of hours of fun tennis and instruction from a team of local pros. The highlight came later, as doubles team Max Schnur and Miguel Reyes-Varela put on a great show for the children and were just fantastic, encouraging the youngsters and teaming up with a couple of them to play some doubles. After an ice cream cone, the young players got to watch the matches.
All in all, we could not have asked for a better start to our 2016 Tiburon Challenger.

Photo: Emilio Gomez of Ecuador bested Lucas Renard of Sweden to advance to the second round



Seeing Perry Gregg compete in the first qualifying round on Saturday brought back memories for Tiburon Peninsula Club Manager Jerry Pang. "Nine years ago, Perry Gregg was the winner of the 10 and under TPC Junior Tournament at age 7!" he says. Gregg lost to Cal player Andre Goransson, but at the age 16, he's only just started and is a player to watch. Here's Perry at the TPC in 2007 (right).

And here's Perry with his parents (right) and tournament director Brendan Curry on opening day. (Photos: Jerry Pang)


Rising Stars in Action

The Wells Fargo Tiburon Challenger gives local tennis fans a chance to see an international roster of young talent in action, up close. Bjorn Fratangelo, 23, of Boca Raton, FLA, (above) turned pro in 2012 and won the USTA Pro Circuit's US Open Wild Card Challenge in 2015. He appeared in Tiburon last year and will be back on the courts this year as well. Main Draw matches start on Monday, and here's the roster. You can see the list of Alternates at tiburonchallenger.com.

Main Draw
Arevalo, Marcelo, ESA, 176
Becker, Benjamin, GER, 96
Bhambri, Yuki, IND, 171
Clezar, Guilherme, BRA, 203
De Loore, Joris, BEL, 219
Escobedo, Ernesto, USA 201
Fratangelo, Bjorn, USA, 115
Groth, Sam, AUS, 228
Halys, Quentin, FRA, 139
King, Darian, BAR, 166
Kozlov, Stefan, USA, 154
Krajicek, Austin, USA, 137
Krueger, Mitchell, USA, 220
Nguyen, Daniel, USA, 231
Novikov, Dennis, USA, 121
Paul, Tommy, USA, 213
Polansky, Peter, CAN, 159
Rola, Blaz, SLO, 188
Sarkissian, Alexander, USA, 215
Smycek, Tim, USA, 166
Tiafoe, Francis, USA, 125
Zemlja, Grega, SLO, 149

Rankings Date: September 5, 2016
Original Cut Off: 231


Kids' Play Day coming up!

Photo: USTA Norcal

Kids get to join in the fun at USTA Play Day

10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West Street, Tiburon

On-court games and activities in a non-competitive atmosphere
chats with the pros, ice cream cones and gifts for all participants

Sign up your kids at https://www.ustanorcal.com/register/views/product.asp?id=1058

Families are welcome to stay and watch qualifying matches.


Pro Tennis up close at the Tiburon Challenger

Tim Smyczek, winner of last year's Challenger, will be back to defend his title. (Photo: R. Tahir)

The Tiburon Challenger, a UDSTA Pro Circuit Event, starts on Saturday, September 24, and is a great chance to see rising stars in action and take in some special events close to home in Marin County. Here's the calendar of events.

Saturday, September 24
         10 a.m.: Qualifying matches start
         10 a.m.-noon: USTA Kids' Play Day
          5:30 to 8 p.m: Welcoming BBQ

Sunday, September 25
          10 a.m.: Qualifying matches
          5:30-8 p.m.: Pro-Am Tournament (by invitation only)

Monday, September 26
          10 a.m.: Completion of qualifying matches
          11:30 a.m. (approx.): Main Draw matches begin

Tuesday, September 27
          10 a.m.: Main Draw matches
            3 p.m.: Feature Match Event Singles
          Not before 4:30 p.m.: Feature Match Event Doubles

Wednesday, September 28
          11 a.m.: Main Draw matches
            3 p.m.: Feature Match Event Singles
          Not before 4:30 p.m.: Feature Match Event Doubles

Thursday, September 29
          11 a.m.: Main Draw matches
            3 p.m.: Feature Match Event Singles
          Not before 4:30 p.m.: Feature Match Event Doubles

Friday, September 30
          11 a.m.: Quarter-final matches begin
            6:30 p.m.: Sponsors' Dinner (by invitation only)

Saturday, October 1
          11 a.m.: Semi-final matches begin
          Special Olympics Tennis Exhibition between singles semi-final matches

Sunday, October 2, Finals Day
          Noon: Finals matches begin
          Junior Tennis Demonstration and Wheelchair Tennis Exhibition between matches

For ticket information, go to tiburonchallenger.com.


Place a bid to win a private tennis session with ATP World Tour Pro Sam Groth

Experience a personal hitting and Q&A tennis session with the tour record holder of a 163 mph serve!

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 11 a.m.
Tiburon Peninsula Club, Tiburon, CA
Auction is now closed

Here’s your chance for a personal private hitting and Q&A tennis session with ATP World Tour Tennis Pro Sam Groth (career high singles rank #53 & doubles rank #24) — holder of the tour’s fastest recorded serve in history (at 163 mph)! Sam has a longstanding competitive history on the tour, having competed against some of the world’s greatest players including Roger Federer at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, Rafael Nadal at the French Open, and Andy Murray at the Australian Open. Whether you’re a fan of the sport or an aspiring tennis player, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to hit with an accomplished ATP World Tour pro and all around great gent, who has  many stories and hard-earned lessons to share!
This Gold experience will be a private session for you and up to 3 guests (at no extra charge) at the Tiburon Peninsula Club. You can each trade off hitting with Sam as you wish and perhaps see if you can return a 160 mph serve. While play is in session on other courts, you’ll get a personal greeting from the 2016 Wells Fargo Tiburon Challenger tournament director, who will escort you to a reserved court for your visit with Sam. You'll get complimentary valet parking, and this is an all-ages-welcome experience (under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian). A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit USTA NorCal Foundation, a charity supporting community-based tennis facilities and education programs, players with disabilities, and deserving tennis playing youth and adults.
For more details and tickets, please visit Revd's website here: http://bit.ly/revd-tpc-samgroth