Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Marathon match puts Ismath into Manitoba Open Quarterfinals

Gonzaga Bulldog's Muzeen Ismath was put to the test
during second round Manitoba Open action.
(Photo courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics)

By Geoff Kirbyson

If Muzeen Ismath had any doubts about the strength of his surgically-repaired right elbow, he put them to rest in the second round of the Manitoba Open Tuesday night.

The 21-year-old Winnipegger, who plays varsity tennis at Gonzaga University during the school year, was pushed to the limit by Daniel Fraser from Australia, pulling out a more than three-hour duel at the Kildonan Tennis Club, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5).

Serving for the match on his third match point, the fifth seed cracked a service winner down the “T” to take the longest match of the evening.

He had raced to a 4-0 lead in the tie-break before Fraser started his comeback.

Ismath hasn’t spent nearly as much time on a tennis court as he normally does by this point in the summer as he injured his elbow during the past school year and went under the knife several months ago.

He wasn’t the only seed to have need three sets to advance to the third round. Sean LaCap, seeded fourth, was leading Stephen Dubienski, 4-6, 6-3, 4-3 at the two-and-a-half hour point when Dubienski had to retire with a leg injury. Second seed Alex Lesiuk had a relatively easy time, defeating Dave Giffin 6-0, 6-1, while Saul Shrom, seeded sixth, defeated Ray Daumler, 6-4, 6-2.

In the only other men’s open match, Chad LaCap defeated Trev Borland, 6-4, 6-4.

On the women’s side, top seed and former Manitoba Open champion Evann Waschuk survived a scare from Olga Berdynskykh before prevailing 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Third seed Lori Mann wasn’t as fortunate, losing 6-3, 6-4 to Samantha Lee. Fourth seed Jennifer Wang defeated Ileana Ursatanu, 6-3, 6-1.

The top seed in the men’s draw, 2011 champion Kevin Kylar, takes on Shane Nicholls Wednesday evening at 7:15. Third seed Evan Mancer plays Sean Grassie at 5:15.

Get Manitoba Open draw updates at tennismanitoba.com