Hot play continues through first round at Pro Classic

Fresh off play at the recent US Open, a three-time NCAA team champion from USC and one currently listed in the top 15 ITA preseason singles rankings for UCLA got off to good starts at the 19th annual Claremont Club Pro Classic.

Raymond Sarmiento of nearby Rancho Cucamonga beat wild card Kelvin Kim, 6-2, 6-2, in the first round of singles on Tuesday.

Just last Thursday, Sarmiento was in New York competing in the first American Collegiate Invitational where he lost to rival and reigning NCAA singles champion Marcos Giron in straight sets.

“I played the Open in the juniors and it’s always good to be back,” Sarmiento said. “You just can’t beat the atmosphere.”

Sarmiento, who helped lead USC to team titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014, said he’s through with his eligibility but has one more semester of school before earning his degree and taking on the pro tour full-time in January.

Bruin sophomore Mackenzie McDonald, who is No. 13 in the ITA national preseason rankings, lost his opening match at the US Open collegiate event in three tough sets to NCAA singles runner-up Alex Sarkissian of Pepperdine.

On Tuesday, McDonald teamed with incoming UCLA freshman Martin Redlicki as the top-seeded team in Claremont and the pair opened with a 6-3, 6-3 doubles win over wild cards Kaptan Kaster and Isaiah Strode.

McDonald and Redlicki are currently ranked No. 31 in the ITA preseason doubles rankings.

In one upset on the day in doubles, juniors Deiton Baughman and Reilly Opelka, also fresh off the US Open Junior Tournament, beat the No. 2-seeded team of Alexios Halebian and Kyle McMorrow, 6-4, 7-6 (3), as all first-round doubles matches were completed on Tuesday.

On Wednesday in singles play, Sarkissian of Glendale opens up against Baughman of Carson.

Also on Wednesday, one former USC Trojan takes on a current one as 2010 Claremont champion Gary Sacks of Calabasas faces No. 2-seeded Roberto Quiroz of Guayaquil, Ecuador. Quiroz, who helped USC win the NCAA team title last May, finished his junior season ranked No. 51 in the nation in ITA singles and was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team.

Tuesday’s First-Round Singles Results:

Daniel Garza (MEX) [8] def. Kyle McMorrow (USA), 7-6 (3), 2-6, 7-6 (5)

Raymond Sarmiento (USA) def. Kelvin Kim (USA) [wc], 6-2, 6-2

Dennis Nevolo (USA) [1] def. Martin Redlicki (USA), 6-4, 7-6 (3)

Jeff Dadamo (USA) [6] def. Daniel Manlow (GBR), 6-4, 6-4

Jean-Yves Aubone (USA) [3] def. Fabian Matthews (USA), 6-2, 6-2

—Steve Pratt

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