Obenhaus moves on

Washington freshman Tobi Obenaus defeated Stanford's Ted Kelly 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 on Sunday afternoon to advance to the quarterfinals of the men's ITA Northwest Regional championships at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

With the win Obenaus became the second Husky to move to the final eight, joining senior Andy Kuharszky, who prevailed over Oregon's Marco Verdasco 6-3,6-0. Unfortunately, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Patrik Fischer came up short in their bids to give the Huskies four quarterfinalists as Nedunchezhiyan dropped a tough three setter to Oregon's Geoff Embry 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 and Fischer went down in straight sets to California's Kallim Stewart 6-4, 6-3.

Obenaus and Kelly held serve through the first three games of the match, with Obenaus leading 2-1. Kelly had a game point on his serve to even the match at 2 all but committed three straight unforced errors, including a double fault, to give Obenaus the break and a 3-1 edge. From there Obenaus cruised through the set, winning it 6-1.

Considering he beat top seeded Pierre Mouillon of California in the previous round, one would expect Kelly to rebound in the second set and he certainly did. The two held serve through the first three games, with Kelly leading 2-1 and Obenaus serving for 2 all. Kelly got a break chance at 30-40 on an unforced error but Obenaus saved it with a forehand crosscourt passing shot winner. Another unforced error gave Kelly a second break chance and he converted with a forehand winner down the line in the ad court to move up 3-1.

Kelly consolidated the break with a hold for 4-1, but Obenaus rallied, holding serve and breaking Kelly to make it 4-3. Obenaus then had the chance to serve for 4 all, but Kelly got a break chance at 30-40 on an errant forehand, and cashed it in with a terrific backhand return winner to go up 5-3. He then held serve easily to take the second set 6-3 and force a decisive third.

In the third set, Obenaus held serve at love, sandwiching a pair of service winners around a pair of Kelly unforced errors, to go up 1-0. In the second game, Obenaus had a 0-30 lead, but Kelly came up with a service winner and an ace to tie the game at 30 all. A terrific forehand crosscourt return winner gave Obenaus a break chance, but he gave it up with an errant half volley.

However, Kelly gave Obenaus the break and a 2-0 lead with a pair of unforced errors. After Obenaus won the next two games to go up 4-0, Kelly finally got on the board at 1-4 when he broke Obenaus's serve, but by that time Obenaus appeared to have the match well in hand. He returned the break and won eight of the final 10 points to close out the match.

With the victory Obenaus will play Cal's Bozhidar Katzarov in the quarters, while teammate Kuharszky will play the Bears' Pedro Zerbini in another quarter. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 12:00 noon on Monday, October 15.

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