Three USC teenage wild cards won first-round matches on a long day of play at the Legends Long Beach USTA Pro Circuit presented by USTA Southern California being played at El Dorado Park.
USC freshmen Brandon Holt and Riley Smith won their first ATP World Tour points while sophomore Trojan teammate Logan Smith also posted a big win on a day that saw all 16 first-round matches completed on Wednesday, one day after being completely washed out because of persistent rain.
Thursday Schedule in Long Beach
While Holt, 18, played efficiently in a solid 6-1, 6-4, win over Luke Bambridge of Great Britain, both 19-year-olds Riley Smith and Logan Smith (no relation) came back to win third-set tiebreakers after dropping the first set. Logan downed Switzerland’s Antoine Bellier, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), while Riley saved three matches points to beat former Trojan three-time national team champion Eric Johnson, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8).
Later, wild cards in doubles Holt and Riley Smith beat another set of Southern California junior wild cards Timothy Sah and Ryan Seggerman, 6-3, 7-6 (3), to advance to the second round in a match that didn’t end until 9:30 p.m.
“I’ll be pretty tired now, but once we get playing the adrenaline will kick in,” Riley Smith said between matches. “Luckily I don’t play many long points because of my size.”
Playing against one of his good friends, someone he’s “always looked up to” and his father Peter Smith’s former player Johnson, Riley Smith fell down in the third-set tiebreaker 5-3 and then was down 6-4 facing two more match points. He saved the first match point while serving and then hitting a running down the line forehand winner, much to an approaching Johnson’s dismay with Smith calling it a “lucky” shot.
On Thursday all three players have tough matches, especially Holt who faces the top-seeded Tommy Paul, while Riley Smith play No. 7-seeded and last week’s Southern California Pro Futures finalist Carl Soderlund.
Last week’s Southern California Pro Futures winner at USC Mackenzie McDonald, the No. 4 seed, opened the Long Beach tournament with a 7-5, 6-2 win over qualifier J.C. Aragone from the University of Virginia.
Wednesday’s First-Round Singles Scores
wc: wild-card; q: qualifier.
Brandon Holt, U.S. (wc), def. Luke Bambridge, Great Britain, 6-1, 6-4
Sebastian Fanselow, Germany, def. Kaichi Uchida, Japan (6), 6-3, 6-4
Evan Song, U.S., def. Aron Hiltzik, U.S., 6-4, 7-5
Marcos Giron, U.S., def. Dekel Bar, Israel, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Tommy Paul, U.S. (1), def. Markos Kalovelonis, Russia, 6-4, 6-2
Alexios Halebian, U.S., def. Roberto Quiroz, Ecuador (2), 6-7 (11), 6-4, 6-4
Logan Smith, U.S. (wc), def. Antoine Bellier, Switzerland, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2)
Mackenzie McDonald, U.S. (4), def. J.C. Aragone, U.S. (q), 7-5. 6-2
Collin Altamirano, U.S. (wc), def. Dennis Nevolo, U.S. (8), 7-6 (5), 6-4
Evan King, U.S. (5), def. Clay Thompson, U.S., 6-4, 6-4
Riley Smith, U.S. (wc), def. Eric Johnson, U.S., 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8)
Christian Harrison, U.S., def. Nick Crystal, U.S. (q), 7-5, 6-3
Mico Santiago, U.S. (q), def. Jenson Booksby, U.S., (q), 6-3, 6-4
Emilio Gomez, Ecuador, (3), def. Nate Lammons, U.S. (q), 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
Robert Galloway, U.S. (q) def. Henry Craig, U.S. (q), 6-0, 6-2
Carl Soderlund, Sweden (7) def. Ronnie Schneider, U.S. (q), 5-7, 7-5, 6-2
Wednesday’s First-Round Doubles Scores
Luke Bambridge, Great Britain / Joe Salisbury, Great Britain (1), def. Dekel Bar, Israel / Nate Lammons, U.S., 6-3, 6-2
Emilio Gomez, Ecaudor / Evan King, U.S. (3), def. Markos Kalovelonis, Russia / Timur Khabibulin, Kazakhstan, 7-5, 6-4
Brandon Holt, U.S. / Riley Smith, U.S. (wc), def. Timothy Sah, U.S. / Ryan Seggerman, U.S. (wc), 6-3, 7-6 (3)
Yannick Hanfmann, Germany / Roberto Quiroz, Ecuador, def. Robert Galloway, U.S. / Alex Lawson, U.S., 6-1, 5-7 11-9
Community Events for the Legends Long Beach USTA Pro Circuit presented by USTA Southern California:
Saturday, Jan. 14: Kid’s Day; 9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. at El Dorado Park Tennis Center.
Sunday, Jan. 15: Free Cardio Tennis Clinic; 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.