With rain clouds threatening to open up, the No. 1 seed in men’s open singles qualifying was taken to the brink of elimination Tuesday at the Pacific Northwest Open.
But the rain mostly held off, and the top qualifier, Thomas Cundy of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, held on to defeat Bellevue’s Gregory Skaggs, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4.
Cundy advanced with 15 other players into the main draw round of 32 at the Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club.
“I wasn’t hitting my shots,” Cundy said. “And (Skaggs) was having a good day. Not that he’s a bad player, but things just weren’t really going my way, and I was happy to get out with a win.”
Skaggs advanced to face Cundy, who had an opening-round bye, after beating Gig Harbor’s Nick Jarvis, 6-3, 6-0, earlier in the day.
After Cundy won the first set, he was up 4-3 with a break before dropping the second set.
Skaggs twisted his right ankle during the first game of the third set, but he stayed close with Cundy, who won in a match that lasted just under four hours. One event organizer said it was the longest match in tournament history.
“He was a good player,” Cundy said. “A little bit older than me, but you can tell back in his day, he was great. He knew how to play.”
Now it’s on to the main draw, starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
“This is when it really heats up,” club pro Tom Peterson said. “Some of the top college guys will start playing, and the level of tennis gets even better.”
But it’s not just about the men anymore. Women’s open singles kick off Wednesday. Men’s doubles begin Thursday, with mixed and women’s doubles starting Friday.
The women’s singles tournament features University of Washington senior Julija Lukac as the No. 1 seed. She will receive a bye out of the first round, along with No. 2-seeded Riko Shimizu of Ojai, California, No. 3 Maggy Lehmicke of Kirkland and No. 4 Michelle Lui of Bellevue.
“We’re excited to get this tournament started in full,” tournament director Mike Politeo said. “Once the women and doubles start playing, it’s pretty full blast.”