Hough downed in Challenger qualifying



LOCAL hope David Hough was a qualifying casualty at the Traralgon ATP Challenger tennis tournament on Saturday, which starts proper today with seven first round main draw matches.

Hough succumbed in straight sets in round one of qualifying to Alexander Babanine 6-2, 6-3, in the face of stiff competition to advance to the world class singles field of 32.

Seven seeds survived yesterday’s second round of qualifying matches to advance to today’s final round, with seventh seed Keita Koyama from Japan emerging from another marathon encounter, overcoming Victorian Adam Hubble 3-6,-6-4, 7-5.

Today’s draw will open with four final qualifying matches from 10am, followed by round one main draw matches with several Australians in action.

Three all-Australian confrontations headline the bill, with Queenslander Maverick Banes to take on fifth seed South Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis on centre court from noon.

Victorian wildcard Andrew Whittington will be the first of the main draw players on court when he tackles New South Welshman Jordan Thompson.

In an all NSW duel, fellow wildcard recipient Christopher O’Connell will come up against Dane Propoggia in one of the last matches on the program.

The tournament’s top two seeds will also be on show today with top seed Go Soeda from Japan taking on dual Australian Pro Tour event winner in the past fortnight, Jermere Jenkins from the United States.

Second seed and last year’s runner up Bradley Klahn will return to the Traralgon main stage against Kyle Edmund from Great Britain.

Live streaming of centre court and court 18 will commence today with access available on www.atpworldtour.com

Spectator entry is free.