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Day 1 of USTA Nationals in Kalamazoo marked by rain and annual exhibition tournament

by Carolyn Binder

Opening day of the 71st USTA National Tennis Championships in Kalamazoo was met with a near washout,

forcing tournament officials to postpone all singles action until Saturday, and move doubles play to the indoor courts.

Kalamazoo product Paul Oosterbaan and doubles partner Ronnie Schneider were among those who competed in 18’s doubles play, and advanced to the third round in straight sets (6-3,6-2) over Kasey Countee and Aries Wong. Oosterbaan will open his singles tournament tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 pm against Jake Douglas of Rolling Hills California at Stowe Stadium.

Davis Crocker, also of Kalamazoo, lost in his 16’s doubles match partnered with Jasper Koenen in straight sets (6-3,6-4) to Trevor Johnson and Logan Smith. Crocker is scheduled to open singles play against Drew Dawson of Irvine California at 11:30 am Saturday at Stowe Stadium.

Under partly sunny skies, the annual opening ceremonies and exhibition tournament went off without incident outdoors at Stowe Stadium. This year’s exhibition featured a new format which paired 4-time Grand Slam Doubles Champion Mark Knowles with Paul Oosterbaan for one set against the top-seeded doubles team in the 18’s division in Martin Redlicki and Noah Rubin. The team of Redlicki/Rubin took the set in a tie-break (7-3). Knowles was then paired with the top-seeded singles player in the 18’s division, Gage Brymer, while Oosterbaan stayed on the court to play with Martin Redlicki. Knowles/Brymer defeated Oosterbaan/Redlicki, 6-4.

16’s singles play is slated to start at 8 am Saturday followed by 18’s singles at 10:30. The afternoon at both Stowe Stadium and Western Michigan University will feature doubles matches weather-permitting. 

Wall-to-wall tournament coverage can be found locally on Public Media Network, Charter channel 95 as well as AT&T. Fans can also watch a live webstream on the official USTA website  .  

Carolyn Binder is a sports anchor for 1660 The Fan and WKZO in Kalamazoo. Follow Carolyn on Twitter