Deacs Send Two to Main Draw of Cary Challenger
Sept. 10, 2017

By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeMTennis)

CARY, N.C. – Skander Mansouri and Julian Zlobinsky each won a pair of matches Sunday afternoon at the Cary Challenger to earn berths into the main draw of the ATP Challenger level tournament.

The duo had to advance through three rounds of qualifying to earn one of five available bids into the main draw of the tournament. Zlobinsky, competing in his first tournament since joining the Demon Deacons this fall, opened his qualifying run on Saturday with a 6-7(6), 7-5, 7-5 victory over Igor Saveljic from NC State. Mansouri also began his qualifying run on Saturday, defeating Duke’s Nick Stachowiak, 6-3, 6-4.

On Sunday, the pair would have to win two matches to clinch their bid into the main draw. Mansouri drew Evan King, the No. 1 seed in qualifying and 308th ranked player in the world, in the second round. After dropping the opening set, 6-3, Mansouri rebounded with a 6-1 win to force a third set. After King jumped out to an early lead in the final set, Mansouri came back and forced a deciding tiebreaker. Mansouri dominated the action from the start and cruised to a 7-1 victory in the tiebreaker to head to the third round of qualifying. A tiebreaker was needed in the opening set against Mark Verryth, but Mansouri prevailed, 7-6(5). Mansouri closed out the match and secured his spot in the main draw with a 6-4 victory in the second set.

Zlobinsky drew No. 5 seed Mikelis Libietis in the second round of his qualifying draw. After picking up the first set, 6-4. The redshirt junior would close out his match with a 7-6(3) decision in the second set. With a spot in the main draw on the line, Zlobinsky faced No. 4 seed Luke Bambridge in the final round of qualifying. After taking the first set, 6-4, Zlobinsky dropped the middle set by a 7-5 margin to set up a third and final set. In the end, Zlobinsky prevailed, 6-4, to join Mansouri in the main draw.



In the opening round of the main draw, Mansouri will face Joao Pedro Sorgi, ranked 264th in the world. For Zlobinsky, he will face rising sophomore Alexis Galarneau of NC State. Former Demon Deacon Noah Rubin is the No. 6 seed in the 32-player field and would face Mansouri in the second round of competition if each were to win their opening match.

QUALIFYING R1 – Skander Mansouri def. Nick Stachowiak, 6-3, 6-4
R2 – Skander Mansouri def. Evan King, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(1)
R3 – Skander Mansouri def. Mark Verryth, 7-6(5), 6-4
R1 – Julian Zlobinsky def. Igor Saveljic, 6-7(6), 7-5, 7-5
R2 – Julian Zlobinsky def. Mikelis Libietis, 6-4, 7-6(3)
R3 – Julian Zlobinsky def. Luke Bambrdige, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4